Friday, August 04, 2006

bird dog and more on Jason Christie

A smart review of Christie's Canada Post by derek beaulieu over at the new site I mentioned yesterday. I'm interested, very interested, in beaulieu's thoughts about the connection of lyric and nation, particularly as it plays out in the poetic longing found in Canadian poetry. A poetry of the pastoral which, as he points out, Christie "troubles" in Canada Post.
Thinking too of one of the comments in the thread on the Babstock review, I think by Z. Wells, which insinuates, well, check out yesterday's post and see for yourself. Lets just say that I don't understand this idea that any kind of art have only one source...that's just craziness. How might we conceive of an elegy if we could get past our understanding of it historically? If we could loosen our grip on a particular kind of pose? A language pose, a sentimental pose, a poetic pose. How did poetry get so conservative?
Ramble, ramble, but there is something in this post that wants to understand several things at once: the intense ownership of lyric by certain schools of poetry (how dare they?), the tension between elegy and pastoral, and again this tension between lucid and a sense of "completeness."
Isn't the latter, the lyric or "lyric completeness" as bealieu points out, a problem of consciousness as much as poetic? A fear of "open spaces" of "unsettled thinking?" I sometimes want the poem to be situated mid leap--to not necessarily have a sense of where it might land. Is it also a question of perspective? Why not from the point of view of a rubber sole? Why not looking up through the cracks in the concrete? I'm being extreme I know, but you get the idea, fragmented and unfinished as it is...

An issue of Sarah Mangold's Bird Dog landed in my mailbox and I am very pleased. It's lovely. You'll find concrete poetry by the same beaulieu as mentioned above, plus some fine prose poetry by Joshua Marie Wilkinson and Ray Bianchi of Chicago Postmodern and excellent reproductions of paintings by Patricia Hagen. Check it out.

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