Friday, July 29, 2005

Previous Queries and New Apologies

"Forgive me, for it has been ___?___ months since my last confession."

What shall be my penance?

I suppose I could start with an explanation: Lisa and I recently got wired to the web in our new home of which I spend not a few hours each day grooming, cleaning, patching, demolishing in order to be comfortable sooner. Today I cut down trees with my new chainsaw.

Another way to get back in the swing of things is to answer 1) Matt and 2) Jo regarding
1) l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e poets, and 2) Whitman.

1) There are admirers of these poets amidst Duquesne's walls. In fact, there is a general appreciation of most all artforms by most all profs and colleagues. This agreeable intellectual gesture avoids offending those who appreciate these forms, and, secondly, I believe, showing favor for a work, movement, etc. shows a very shallow knowledge and experience with it. I was never in a lecture where we discussed Language Poets, maybe Howe, but I was introduced to Ciaron Carson's "First Language," as I've mentioned before: an Irish virtuoso. Ok, I've nodded without evidence or depth of reason. Here are a few lines from the second poem in the volume, "Second Language," where the speaker ponders and progresses through early consciousness of language and the world:

Things are kinks that came in tubes; like glue or paint
extruded, that became
A hieroglyphic alphabet. Incestuous in pyramids, Egyptians
were becalmed.

I climbed into it, delved its passageways, its sepulchral
interior, its things of kings
Embalmed; sacophagi, whose perfume I exhumed in chancy
versions of the I-Ching.

A chink of dawn was revelated by the window. Far-off cocks
crowed crowingly
And I woke up, verbed and tensed with speaking English; I
lisped the words so knowingly.

2) Perhaps I am bitterly mistaken, but these lines have a Whitman-esque quality to them (Not a good segue, I know). I have yet to go through a Whitman storm being that he is so long-winded, but I certainly do not disapprove of his work or its immeasurable influence (especially in form--which, is poetry's raison d'etre). My pallete seems more suited to terse work that lends itself toward an open reading--that is, works which allow for more freeplay between reader and text, image and word, works more conscious of the interpretive role of the reader. I'm most interested in how poets (consciously or unconsciously) employ, exploit language in order to make a word or poem say several things at once without losing a coherent reading. The modernists seem most interested in pointing out language's operating systems, its rules and regulations are laid bare for all to see, and what results is anxiety and exhileration. Most of my directed study in poetics has been in Dickinson (NOT considered a moderninst in traditional sense) and Yeats, but I am still far from articulating my ideas: more study will allow that.

I apologize for my the sparse nature of this blog. Can't wait to here y'all's comments.