mystery somnolent

 lost 14: mystery somnolent

he smiled (snowy teeth) purring, like a hearthside cat, same benign countenance, gleaned and white. chaos among kings a triangle pockmarked in the sun, bottom 30 % of americans – a shiver looking for a spine to run up a grave to walk over the pale stone (sunlit) sits there an envelope without an address, possessive of its granuloreticulose pseudopodia. mystery somnolent satellite town a lake four-wheel-drives trade vans a teflon pan a pastry shop blue skates rejected but the new york jacket! trucks with profound widely ranging minds, t) the grey (consor he was glad he got, horses and cattle be the tribulation of, besides your father would not want you marrying a jew there is no more to tell. when he was young and paunchless, the art of it, removing a heart from a human cadaver, after the first rush the great obsession love and intoxication blindness and clear-sightedness meaning and madness

Jim Dine (outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Art/Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal)

A discussion begun by Kaz Connelly on Facebook saying she is so bored with poetry without emotion, and why is this cool (in many senses) poetry so ascendant in Canadian poetics right now? Is it just (her)? or Toronto? or TV, facebook, disaffectedness?

Susan Musgrave responded with a quote from T.S. Eliot: ‎”Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.” – T.S. Eliot

Sandy Shreve said: It’s definitely not just you, Kaz! Am with you all the way. A poem can get as brainy as it wants, but if my heart is not touched, I won’t give it a second thought.

From Christine Lowther: It may be that as Canadians we feel we have to write more cerebrally to be taken half as seriously. We are always trying to prove how smart, brilliant, genius we are, and simple emotional poems embarrass us.

And Shaista Justin added: The last really emotive (& sincere) book of poetry I read was Jim Smith’s -Back Off, Assassin!-…the poetics are strong, but I really loved that it felt emotively alive. Dead poetry emerges because people have run out of things to say, but can still words together in an interesting fashion. Interesting enough to win awards even.
What say you? You can respond as a comment or an email. I’d love to hear your views. (This reminds me of a discussion on Sunday with Pearl Pirie.)

Poetry from another perspective:

(By David McMillan:
Bloggers Could Learn From Christopher Hitchens) Take pride in being an “unacknowledged legislator. The poet Percy Shelley once wrote that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” It was an idea that deeply appealed to Hitchens (he in fact titled one of his books Unacknowledged Legislation). Hitchens never held political office, but he was firmly of the belief that writers, intellectuals, and artists (not just poets) are responsible for creating unacknowledged legislation—laws and ideas that society might not recognize, but that we recognize in our hearts.
(Above photo is Ted signing a copy of a poem he knows by heart.)


One thought on “mystery somnolent

  1. Perhaps a backlash effect against all the overly-emotional poetry that most of us wrote when we first began, or against the poems written many years ago with poets proclaiming odes to their mistress’ eyebrow…?
    Or perhaps the recent vogue of writing to obscure the meaning also tends to remove emotion from the poem. Or the poet, in leaving room for the reader, has left the writer out of the poem.
    Perhaps poets, in their eagerness to be published, are reading what they see in the magazines, just like they’re told to, try to write to these styles, and lo: the new fashion takes hold and it is one of no emotion.
    If you are writing language poetry and/or playing off the sound of words without regard to meaning particularly, how can you also write emotively?


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