Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Raleigh Holiday

on sunday i had some time to go into raleigh and do a little shopping at Nice Price Books. i picked up a bunch of good stuff, including Cid Corman's Nothing Doing. i'm new to his work, but love it. it's so simple and direct it feels almost naive. at the same time, though, i'm reminded of emerson's notion that in genius we hear our own rejected thoughts. here are a couple examples:


I want the words
so simple and
true you think they

have come out of
your own mouth and
are breathing you


***

I will tell you the secret. 
Listen. 

              What is it? -- you ask? 

I keep telling you: 

                                 Listen.

these poems articulate more clearly than most i can think of a sense that what is most difficult is so only because it's so simple. the first poem is, in many ways, how poetry should be. something that speaks to readers so fundamentally they feel they could have written/said it themselves. i believe that is one aspect of the sublime according to Longinus. it certainly echoes Emerson's notion of genius i mentioned earlier.

the second poem, in many ways, is a lesson in reading. there is no meaning per-se to be gleaned from poetry. one should only listen and respond accordingly. simple, but exceedingly difficult for most to abide by.

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