Archive for the ‘Charles Olson’ Tag

Tha stance toward Reality

A week back I shared an unpublished poem “Unreal, that is, to the real itself…” and in the week since by a kind of weird serendipity I’ve been engaged in a dialogue concerning evolutionary psychology, reductive physicalism, by extension materialism and transcendentalism, so on and so forth, all of which tie into the question of the Real and what can be known of it.

I’ve made my polemical stance in this regard known in an ironic manner in the poem inf.26.47.dore“Get Real” (it is a poem after all; how can it not be ironic?) so in light of the past week’s ink spilled (what is the on-line, digital version of this expression?) on the matter, I share here the prefatory poem to my second trade edition, Ladonian Magnitudes ‘topos tropos typos” (a confession’. The opening words are Charles Olson’s.

 

“for nine years
“three words constantly
“forced me down

“or kept me
“in or possibly
“steadied me…

 

topos tropos typos” (a confession

 

there is a freedom to be learned

a tradition earned

every wave of particular

 

not men or women, some

generation, not a sapling

scored around the oak’s core

 

but decision

not to attend what’s passed

for the new, not to accept the world

 

as given), &

stopped my reflection
stepped

the light
red

antistrophe

more vivid
that night

than the rain
wet street

(“E’en thus along the gulf moves every flame,

“A sinner so enfolded close in each

“That none exhibits token of the thief

O

read

the archetext!

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“…where lives the virtue of poetry…”

Yesterday, Canada’s Chris Banks baldly posed the question to his Facebook friends “What is authentic poetry?”. I (mis)remembered, after my own initial contributions to winding or snarling the ensuing thread, I had written a poem that addressed at least “the virtue of all authentic thinking” (and I’m hardly the first to imagine or suggest that poetry can be a kind of thinking). I post that poem, below.

It was written at the same time as the poem that opens Ladonian Magnitudes, “topos tropos typos’ (a confession”, itself composed before even my first trade edition, Grand Gnostic Central. It’s title is a quotation from Charles Olson. Whether it is possessed of any qualities that might be construed as “authentic” I leave to the judgement of the reader. For my part, I cite again, as I did first in yesterday’s thread, Novalis, from his Fragments and Studies 1799-1800, #671:  Schwer schon ist zu entscheiden, doch einzig mögliche Entscheidung, ob etwas Poesie sei oder nicht”:  It’s already difficult to decide, but it’s the only decision possible, whether something is poetry or not.

 

“Unreal, that is, to the real itself”

 

where lives the virtue of poetry

and all thinking free

of the tyranny of the real

 

in perceiving the real

flow, elementally

fluid, hence watery

 

form forms

breath

seen in Winter

 

as slippery

hard and cold

as ice to the head

cracked

 

as the sea, unfathomable

God as Melville says

pondering

from the masthead

 

a shriek above

the water

 

a shriek

above the water

 

the same