Friday, February 22, 2008


JH: Poetry, and the poet (in the specific use of the term in Antic View #133, which is how I'm using it in this 134th installment), appears from wherever thought appears, and is as distinct from idea, instinct, emotion, and that thought bears as idea, instinct, emotion, etcetera are distinct from each other; yet, as an idea - of custom, or of what is suitable to reason - may dispel an emotion, and as an emotion may quell an idea, or one may strengthen another, so may poetry, and the poet, respond to and influence varieties of thought. If poetry, and the poet, appears from a source outside the author, such as Muse or Daemon, then poetry, and the poet, is received by thought via the author's sense(s) of sight, sound, smell, touch, taste - singly, totally, or any combination.
In dream visions wherein poems are revealed, the dreamer's senses are depicted within the dream, if not actually put into play by the dream. A poem is as alien to its scribe as much or as little as that scribe's ideas, instincts, emotions, and all else his or her thought bears. We write our own poems to the same degree as we think our own thoughts. Writers of poems think their own thoughts to the same degree as other people think their own thoughts. The amount of thought the poem-writing process requires is prodigious, whether the time and energy an author consciously expends is as torturous as an alchemist's search for the Philosopher's Stone or as gossamer as blinking. Speaking of alchemy, thanks for your kind words on my "The Melting of Salts, or, A Defence of Poetry". The ultimate result of a successful alchemical process is the recipe. The recipe is what the gold, predicted by the lead (the lead is the foundation, without which there is no alchemical gold, no poem on the paper), predicts. What process created the recipe that is "The Melting of Salts, or, A Defence of Poetry"? There is mention of a reading of Percy Bysshe Shelley's essay "A Defence of Poetry", an "entire reading", which is an ideal of any who aspire to be an entire reader (who, in turn, could be an ideal of an author such as Shelley), an utmost reading of each word, of the whole text. An entire reading is mythical (and nonetheless possible), and indeed the ambiguous words "may" and "infer" are ambiguously placed: the inference from an entire reading of Shelley's essay is mythological, or all of the fourth sentence of "The Melting of Salts, or, A Defence of Poetry" is mythological, including the entire reading of Shelley's essay (and the essay itself - title, content, and referents - does it survive these Delphic vapors?). Are the words of the first paragraph's four other sentences made mythological by the fourth sentence? Is the second paragraph affected by the fourth sentence? I'm much taken by your poem "Tom Brady lives with us all", recently posted on the Wryting list:

wild poem renders make of death. the gosh of looming windows stills in soon the stuttered sequence. we read the room of filling tune aloft, whilst straining call overtly dooms the moon a preying time. dash the quickened dear till of the football life. the means is quell to the gnostic mention. a love of lists and pools of mountain lump greengage tremble mumbling rill and trill till the soil transit. posit often
cluster, run the moon again. again the staid and dying, again the oxygen refrain, again the dog of when that was. now the post and fueling, now the word unveiled, now the gesture compost. here the rife of fends for all. it is the day of daily parade, taken to a road.

Could you speak on this poem, please?
AHB: well, the New England Patriots won THAT game: I wrote the poem directly after the Pats defeated the Giants to end the regular season. and really, that's all Delphic vapours, whether or not I am a dedicated fan or not, and I’m not. The game itself was closely fought and exciting, so the poem expresses that nature. And yet, it doesn’t express anything, particularly, not directly, as statement. Poetry is often a presentation of unexpectedness. I could have written a paean to Tom Brady, the hero, but the writing event was not a matter of statement or opinion. Instead, I see as I look at the poem (the forethought was unthought, as usual in my writing), there exists a translation. Words are used, let us say, wrong in the poem. The wrongness is weighed by expectation, so that the less the reader expects, the more the reader can glean. Which is the hard won and inconsistently understood lesson of my formative reading (all credit to the Robert Grenier who helped bump me onto the path). So there, I have spoken of my poem, which expatiation allows me to see the workings that I blithely assumed as I wrote. You are more methodical in your process, but do you ever write in a fevered rush? I’ve done things like write non-stop for an hour, that is, as literally as possible keep pen (I wrote by hand) moving.