In celebration of National Poetry Month, every day we're posting a new poem from the spoken-word album Poetic License, a three-CD set that features one hundred performers of stage and screen reading one hundred poems selected by the actors themselves. From Shakespeare and Dickinson to Lucille Clifton and Allen Ginsberg, the lineup spans contemporary American poetry and classics of the Western canon.
Jack Spicer (1925–1965), along with poets Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan, formed the Berkeley Renaissance, a school of poetics that later became part of the San Francisco Renaissance. Spicer, whose first collection, After Lorca, was published in 1957, practiced "poetry as dictation," envisioning the poet as a transmitter of material from unseen worlds. A volume of his collected poems, My Vocabulary Did This to Me, was released in 2008 by Wesleyan University Press.
Harriet Harris is a native Texan actress who has appeared in Broadway productions of Cry-Baby, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and The Man Who Came to Dinner, as well as on television in Desperate Housewives and Frasier. She most recently played on Broadway in the Noël Coward comedy Present Laughter, which closed in March.
"'Any fool can get into an ocean...'" by Jack Spicer, from Poetic License produced by Glen Roven. Copyright © 2010 by GPR Records. Used with permission of GPR Records.