Saturday, May 13, 2006


JH: I think everyone fails poetry. That we can speak of poetry apart from the poem is a failure of poetry or of the reader? Or did the first poem put forth the idea of poetry in order to replicate itself, to stow away in the idea of poetry? Are all poems, and the idea of poetry that allows them to be composed, just the first poem in different guises? To fail to exactly recreate this first poem and so discover how to write a second poem, unique and distinct from the first poem, is an instance of how we have failed poetry. Sooner or later we'll get to that second poem. Linguistics have failed, and always will, to find a base for language through empirical methods. But poetry is irrational, and, luckily, self-referential - so it's feasible that the first poem could be blurted out. But how to know this first poem when it is written? This question is similar to a question I posed in January (about the lost texts of the world appearing again in new works of literature, word for word, and how could we know), but in this scenario those lost texts are but versions of the first poem. Would a completely new poem, unlike any other - and there have been plenty of attempts throughout history - be the first poem or the second? Do we even need a second?

AHB: There's just one poem, an exultation. Which is lofty sounding: but I'm not aiming for the Paris Review. But there are moments of absolute, of language fully attested. It's a dream state that we remember. You know, you have ideas of poetry as you write or read, and glimmers of the manifestation. But something misses, fails. To be an artist requires facing that fact constantly. Perfection, hahaha. A poem is a statement that is amazement. I return to Emerson saying that every word was a poem once. Blue is blue as blue as it can be, where you can even bring in the idea that colour is illusive, that things aren't coloured, the reflected light is, but not really. Whatever the science there, my point being that a word is an enclosure with worm hole possibilities. (My son, with Star Trekky awareness, sees wormholes and such as normative parts of the world). Casey Stengel once told the troops, line up in alphabetical order according to height. I don't do Zen, and koans make my brain go yikes, but I can cop to hurdling our confused sense of language into the zone of release. That's where poetry heads, or it leads us. okay, ponder all that, and meanwhile, some poems by JH at Otoliths. can you name the 231 persuasive literary giants? This poem “Faucet Hill-Paraoh Gazette—July 8, 1891” is absolutely curious with reference and syntax. What are you up to? Why do I like it?


Post a Comment

<< Home