This blog is always in process. It's impossible otherwise. Always a dance of desire and its limitations, the abstract and its vagueries. One wants to eavesdrop on the raw, and yet, one wants the cooked.
On the one hand Jan Zwicky's Wisdom & Metaphor. "By 'metaphor'" says Zwicky, "I mean the linguistic expression of the results of focussed analogical thinking..." (5) but I have asked before, what good is metaphor if it keeps us grounded in a pre-20th century world? Or, a pre-20th century world without 21st century consciousness?
What does it mean to make concrete a poem? Or to make a concrete poem? Is metaphor implied? Can earthworks be considered concrete poems?
Twenty-five years now since Lyn Hejinian published the influential essay Rejection of Closure. Quite a few since she published Continuing Against Closure. How are we feeling about closure these days?
Jan Zwicky again: "Things are what they seem; but it is possibe for them to seem differently." (79)
"A chronicler must gather details as if they were hard candies," Lyn Hejinan in "From The Distance."
Anne Carson upped her avant garde identity with "String Talks," a reading and multi-media performance at NYU last Friday. Having seen the Gertrude Stein opera that ended up being in Decreation I can guess with some confidence that "String Talks," will be odd and a bit stilted in an intellectually edifying way. And of course I would have been there if I could...
Do people still think "heartfelt" means something?
"What is this is not that; indeed this is distinct, must be distinct, from everything else" (Zwicky 53)
"I came back to the meadow. I could not shake the memory of a train." Elizabeth Willis, Meteoric Flowers.
"A real failure does not need an excuse. It is an end in itself ," Gertrude Stein.
When I ask a poet to describe Canadian lyric poetry what I get in return is an essay by Billy Collins.
Between these poles there is real meaning. I'm sure of it. I'm old fashioned after all.