Alan DeNiro’s Taverner’s Koans, “a one-room schoolhouse of experimental poetics,” has a Gallery of Underrated Poets that’s well worth exploring (as I could tell instantly from the fact that it included Lorine Niedecker). I’m not sure John Clare and Stephen Crane can be considered underrated, but I’m not going to quibble, since I’ve already discovered the wonderful Melvin Tolson and I’ve barely begun digging. Here’s a snippet from Tolson’s The Harlem Gallery (1965):
awakes me at a people’s dusk of dawn.
The age altars its image, a dog’s hind leg,
and hazards the moment of truth in pawn.
The Lord of the House of Flies,
jaundiced-eyed, synapses purled,
writes before the tumultuous canvas,
The Second of May—
the dagger of Madrid
the scimitar of Murat.
In Africa, in Asia, on the Day
of Barricades, alarm birds bedevil the Great White World,
a Buridan’s ass—not Balaam’s—between no oats and hay.
Sometimes a Roscius as tragedian,
sometimes a Kean as clown,
without Sir Henry’s flap to shield my neck,
I travel, from oasis to oasis, man’s Saharic up-and-down.