Friday, February 23, 2007


JH: "Poems are aggregates of percepts" is an apt definition of poems. What is the difference between a poem's line that says "It's a sunny day" and a line saying "We should be nice to each other"? Where does reportage and opinion enter in a poem? As to aggregation, what is the difference between a disjunctive poem and a more linear poem? Does a disjunctive poem neglect much of its language's (such as English) resources, or does it emphasize them (or can any distinction be made)? To progress via syntax involves memory and anticipation. Is there memory and anticipation from one end of a word to another, or simply identification, or ignorance, of the word? If there is memory and anticipation within the word, is a group of words (phrase, sentence, line) itself a poem? Could a poet devise a manner of reading a letter (whether that letter stood alone or with other letters to form a word) - for example, reading the progression of points from one end of a line in a letter to another? This would require an essay, or content within the poem, to instruct the reader on the alphabet and grammar of the letters. Once read, this explanatory material could be imposed on any text that used the outward form of the letters in this poem (there are comparable examples such as the recognition of iambic pentameter).

AHB: where reportage and opinion enter the poem is the battleground. A poem is neither opinion or reportage because, ahem, opinion is opinion and reportage is reportage. And yet, these can inform a poem. A poem transmutes these into a realm that isn't just flat, straight lines. That sounds fluffy, but I think we have to lean on something. Poems make use of statements and descriptions but their perimeter extends beyond these small antics. Disjunction allows the reader to make leaps and extensions. The syntactical gaps are filled by the play of the reader's mind. It's a slap of immediacy. Disjunction is a sort of calming strangeness because it allows us readers to fashion our path amidst the tensions of the words involved. A group of words... IS a poem. It is, at least, if the Reader is there. John Bennett's work comes to mind because he puts seemingly common stuff of language thru a demanding prism. He has an eye for wonder that challenges readers. We see John's work daily, on the Wryting list (he's incredibly prolific),. I can't respond to all the questions you pose, you suggest a world of excitement. Our dreams of a straight, direct language—I infer a human need here—is a wish towards some empyrean that needs more inventing. Poetry proposes the intensity of the words, the letter, the shape of something on the edge of or near each word. I actually dislike statements such as I am making, and yet, what are we worrying about? It is a sign of age, if not growth, that I see Poetry as a philosophical entity. It is an inquiry. It is not, itself, a pleasure, tho it can broaden the eye in a pleasing way.


Post a Comment

<< Home