Monday, April 28, 2008

Last Monday in April


Perhaps it’s to keep myself focused. Like any profession of faith . . .

The difficulty I find in writing poetry is the difficulty of attending to the world while knowing I’m attending through language, while knowing how much that attending through language makes the poem more about language than it is about the world. More? Well, maybe not. But is language in the way or is language the way? And in knowing, in paying attention to, language, while trying to use the language to present more than just the workings of language, is the world somewhere lost in between? Or is there a new thing in the world?

This has been said so many ways for so many years by so many people. I suppose that’s the foregrounding of any art gesture. I suppose it’s obvious. But the obvious must also be reintroduced now and then:

Because the medium is the message. How many times have we heard that? And in how many contexts?

Because the world works outside of language, language would seem incapable of union.

Because the solidity of things meets the fragility of their borders.

Because shadows also have a certain solidity.

Because sentences are things, I congratulate them their continual arrival.

Because things are things happening, one needs a certain trust in attentiveness.

Because the world of things is also emotion.

Because the world of things is also people happening.

Because language is worn, and it’s all there is to wear.

Because the gesture of forms has a structure, language forms as much as it conveys.

Because the constraints of the few words keeps attention from primary utterance, as the language of a formulation can be guessed at, before the experience has resolved.

Because sentences paint experiences toward two corners at once:

The corner of grammar, which should never be underestimated.

The corner of time unfolding, as time does not allow the experience of the poem to happen in the flash that experience of the world happens.

Because the art act is an act in the world.

3 Comments:

At 4/28/2008 10:32 AM, Blogger Leslie said...

I love this, John. All of it. In and of itself a poem—meta or no.

 
At 4/29/2008 4:04 AM, Blogger Matthew Thorburn said...

JG, I enjoyed your Poetry Daily poet's pick comments on Stevens -- great way to start the day the other day!

 
At 4/29/2008 6:37 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Thank you, Leslie, and thank you Matthew. I was surprised to fin how many poems are now in the public domain . . . did you see it's Gertrude Stein today?

 

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