Tuesday, October 02, 2007


JH: Thanks! The method in "Mimicry In Ruins" is my consideration on what of the poetic is outside a poem, and what may be elicited of this segment of the poetic (which is the same through every poem, or is different despite each poem that is written?). In poetry (that is to say, poems), there is a mimesis of human language and earthly doings. Can poetry provide a mimesis of the poetic? Having mimicry as a character in a poem could help in underscoring the poetic among the poem.

Is the "I" of the third sentence Mimicry speaking of itself - i.e., the narrator quoting (mimicking?) Mimicry, or is the narrator reporting Mimicry as speaking of the narrator? The narrator has addressed him/herself as I ("I'm") before, in the first sentence. There's a possibility the entire poem is spoken by Mimicry; if so, Mimicry alternates between referring to itself in the first person and the second person.

If mimicry is personified, is the mimicry apt, is the personification apt - who, or what, exactly is being mimicked, and who, or what, is Mimicry's subject? Are there more than one subjects being mimicked? Is there but one character named Mimicry in the poem?

Is "there Reason's..." stated by the narrator originally, or as a report of Nature's narrative ("if I'm to believe Nature")? The rest of the poem could be a report by the narrator of Nature's narrative, a continuation of "makes Reason nakedness...".

There's an ambiguity in the use of "I" in the third sentence: if the narrator languish, then Mimicry mimics in the fourth sentence this languishing. Is there mimicry in ambiguity? Thus, a multiplicity -- in mimicry? The fourth sentence allows the question: is Mimicry termed Eagle when in the Thicket (only when there ; especially when there)?

Prince = princeps, one who takes the first part... one, then, who is to to be imitated, prey for Mimicry. Pass - "pass as"/"pass for" versus "pass by" ("Prince, pass" as in the "Horseman, pass by!" of Yeats' "Under Ben Bulben"). Is "Prince, pass" said by the narrator, or Mimicry? Is the second sentence to be read as "Prince, pass, for Mimicry says, 'yours is a suitable den...'" or as " 'Prince, pass,' Mimicry says. 'Yours is a suitable den...' "? Regarding the former, "yours is a suitable den" could be the only words attributed to Mimicry in the second sentence, with "and my treasons..." spoken also by the narrator. Should this "Prince" be capitalized outside the poem? Would it be capitalized if it wasn't at the beginning of a sentence? See Antic View #115 for a discussion of apostrophe and capitalization. Is speech with its human content enough to make personification out of apostrophe?

"That Mimicry termed Eagle languishes in the Thicket seems wasteful of the fox.": perhaps Mimicry is thus termed fox - by whom (could the poet have a say in this?)? If the fox is a character (and a reference to fox as a mammal and not as a figure), does this mean the fox doesn't eat the bird (Eagle) due to ignorance, pity, or because the fox is not fooled by Mimicry's being termed Eagle? Were the poem to continue, would fox become capitalized? In the world of "Mimicry In Ruins", was Beauty, Nature, Reason, or Mimicry, etc. capitalized before the first sentence?

"Prince" could refer, literally or as an honorific, to one of the Principalities, the highest choir in the third sphere of angels. Principalities tend to nations, which lends a reading to the word "den" (as does the word "fox", to which the word "Prince" may refer), and to the word "places". Angels are associated with stars, and the planet Venus was once thought to be a star. "Venus" may refer to the planet, the Roman goddess, the word, or may designate some character outside the poem or previously named in the poem.

Does "Beauty is body as places" refer to ruins? Is there an element of mimicry in ruins? Aurally, "Thicket" and "Mimicry" mimic each other; etc. ... t/reasons, Reason's... the imperfection of mimicry... Lady Macduff defines a traitor as "one that swears, and lies" (Macbeth, IV, ii, 46 - 47).

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a sensation is worth millions. Attempting to unravel four relatively short sentences takes more words than comprise "Mimicry In Ruins". Sensations, in the merest sense, are almost as compact as a poem. Or do sensations fall short of a poem? Aside from sensation and analysis, what else does a poem provide? Speaking of sensational poems, you recently posted to Wryting-L a poem entitled "this, by which we speak, poem":

The simplicity of pond, watchwords, the going rate. Think of intelligent draining of economic constants in the gloom above the cold water. Federation selects this rood of land, with water for offertory and remembrance. Cornstalks saved for decoration, in the imagined gusto of that ended autumn, asseverate a position. Means of replying fizzle thru results, until daybed burns in the solitude of autumn light. After effects realize their broad distinction. People care for carnival, late blooming asters and crocus, and so much depends. Now the pond, nobly engraved in literary matters, produces a squeal. A few mallards have murdered a bench, have interrupted the speech of fences, have created peerages of paths. Wild strange makes a cold bay. Languages piece together but still a stream edge shifts for a picture and latter proof. No dose remains except a pungent arriviste lost for matter. This mighty day concerns many dull moments, and leaving everyone behind. Thus a Thoreau enscribes some rich matter, forest duff. And other proven numbers ply for adding. And the changes magnetize in harsh elements and willful puff. The endgame resists, then stutters then period. It's like we are words, but water too combines with breath. Earth too, fire too. Features of this funny business, this capacious colony of reaching for ideas, isolate in solvents and unsolvable. No philosophy but the days on end. Colourful something in the midst of elsewise, then a poem, legacy train, trailing wind by which we speak...

across the water, et cetera, climate of something, positioned, thrilled, imposed and functioning... after which statement, the business of bees... degrees...

Could you speak of this poem, please?

AHB: I'll just add to your plucky exegesis that Aristotle, in his Poetics, speaks of all art as imitative. You have a unique methodology that does seem to go inside and out of the words that form your poems. Not to sound blurbish. And I sense an attachment to that meditative meandering with which you create your work. I'm not certain that I am saying what I mean. I'm thinking of my own work, which I pretty well forget once I've written. For me, a poem (that I've written) is the remnant of an experience. Perhaps it is an imitation of an experience. Your pre/post-involvement confirms a different relationship, somehow. Your poems arise from an enlightened position in which you set the machine running. I think I contribute myself to the words (that I write), and let them say themselves. I mean all of this descriptively, not judgmentally. I like your work, and I like mine. As to my poem “This, By Which We Speak, Poem”, it is a way of comprising Walden Poem, just as earlier I comprised the porch here. Walden Pond is a few miles away, thus a resource. My wife and I made an effort to visit the pond often, after a few years of neglecting it. The experience of Walden, or any place, is all the sensory info one might absorb. And that sensory info becomes words. My poem is, simply, those words laid out. For the reader. The phrase 'so much depends' comes from I need not say where. I use it as a conscious recognition, just as it was originally used, really. Walden, of course, has a history. Kick a rock, it may be the same one Thoreau kicked on the 5th of July. Et cetera. Personal history exists. 7 years ago, Beth and I sat on the benches that rim the pond, and I read from the manuscript of Days Poem, which was about 20 pages long at the time. Those benches are now underwater, the pond's water level having risen that significantly. The poem is a comprehension of a place and time. I believe the history of poetic time exists just prior to the few minutes of actual writing. Honestly, I trust that conception.