Monday, September 18, 2006


JH: Thanks! A plush playground is an apt description of the Wryting list! I don't know why there's a elegiac note to "Knots of Hilda Doolittle" - another knot to untie. Indeed, this nameless series provides a exegetical knot that I'm unmodernly trying to unfasten. What is hidden, what may be non-existent outside the human imagination, may well be elegized, yes? Something has passed, something never seen alive has surely died. To elegize the imaginary mourns the dying of what could not be born, only conceived. To write a poem is not to create, but to memorialize what existed in the poet's mind, unseen by others except through the poet's index of it on the page or in the spoken poem. Much of the description in this series is factual, but from where does it arrive other than in the context of the poem? Nobody asked me, and it's not a plan to educate anyone who would be interested in learning how to tie knots or identify ducks. Such groundless, though factual, information is imaginary. An allusion to Mount Parnassus in a poem gives the name of an actual extra-literary place, as well as line of sight through all texts that have mentioned Mount Parnassus (or words that may be mistaken, unwittingly or punningly, for Mount Parnassus). The name is information, is an index within an index, yet is groundless since the poem does not explicitly call for the entry of Mount Parnassus (even if preceding lines are what may be recognized as a definition of Mount Parnassus, or words commonly associated with Mount Parnassus, as the poem does not explicitly call, and aren't all calls explicit?, for these lines). What does a poem call for? Itself, and any words will do? Why then revision, and willing direction? Are the poem and the imaginary at odds? The poem may not be prime, in the sense that a thought is said to initiate other thoughts. A thought may initiate other thoughts, and amidst these thoughts is the poem (twenty places, nineteen are thoughts; places one through fifteen are thoughts, place sixteen is the poem, places seventeen through twenty are thoughts), which may not have anything to do with the thoughts, only hitching a ride on brain waves. If the poem is at odds with the imaginary, then the elegy has nothing to do with the elegiac. There may be an elegy without an elegiac tone, only words that are commonly associated with the elegiac.

AHB: HD's work always showed a great presence of the past, and this can present an element of elegy to the mind, in reading of those knots. I think, yes, a poem is not prime. even words may not be prime, so many meanings and shades in each. poems exist thru intersection of those colours and meanings and shades. and a shade of elegy could be there, or wonder or what. I think the poem, and art works generally, are attempts at the imaginary. provocations towards some density of the imagined. I recently wrote some poems under a clearly elegiac instigation. William Shatner, Paris Hilton, Flava Flav, H. P. Lovecraft and others flow thru these poems, which surprise even me. I think I needed to remove some of the hoary aspects of the elegy from consideration. the tone remains typically gloomy, but Shatner silliness is my hope to let the elegy free itself, find itself. just as the conjunction of knots and HD in a way frees both. free in the sense that water is free, urging toward boundless. Gray's Elegy, I've always loved that. it's unspecific, guided by landscape. seemingly all these elegiac cribs of Gray's acquaintance manifested themselves in this autumnal mood, or so I infer. in a way, he did what you and I each did, hoping influx from disparate sources can agree as a whole. I think of rewriting mostly as cleaning up the channel thru which flows. I'm always aware of surprises, eager for them, and disappointed when the unsurprising appears. does the idea of writing an elegy, purposing the poem, bother you? in he pieces I mentioned above, I didn't sit down to write elegies, the circumstances were very present.


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