I'm quite pickled & packed now, what with my Index of labels & pocket-size books. (Basically have been avoiding difficult patch in poem I'm working on.)

My blog is a self-enclosed discourse-world, fully self-sufficient, quite disconnected from the established Organs of Poesie. What does it all mean?

My obsessive interests, my speculations & hortatory p'lemics, my vast ambitious compile-ations...

My unease with the duplex nature of versifyin' in the world (toy, serene pastime, abject tomfoolery, useless hobby, voice of revolt, vehicle of civilization, wisdom & learning, visionary prophecy...)

My non-place in all the places of Poe-Land...

Got me thinking about a book I read many years ago, by Christine Perkell - The Poet's Truth. About Virgil's Georgics. Couldn't find it in the library, but I see it's online.

Wherein the poet's role (& its "audacity") is contrasted (Orpheus vs. Aristaeus) with that of the practical farmer. The poet channels "Golden Age" values (pity, peace, non-violence) against the present "Iron Age" (of war, necessity, competition, violence).

Maybe more on this later.
OK, this is it for the tinkering for a while. I've re-done the book of early poems, Way Stations, with a new cover (actually an old design from a chapbook of 18 yrs ago).


OK, I've pocket-sized the 3rd (concluding) volume of Forth of July - titled July. (I've also done a serious bit of editing : the previous brief 4th volume - Blackstone's Day-Book - has been merged into July. So the poem is now complete in 3 volumes.)

You can preview it there.


The Grassblade Light, 2nd volume in long poem Forth of July (& a sequel to Stubborn), is also now available in pocket-size edition. I'm getting a little better at photo-editing. This book includes images from the original chapbooks (which now make up the poem's 7 chapters).

I suppose all these kaleidoscopic editions are rather bewildering. But I'm pleased with the changes. The books are handier, better-looking, & more individualized (not to mention less expensive). Look out, Penguins !


Stubborn Grew now joins the pocket-size editions. Includes the original collages (& some new illustrations). You can preview it there.


The subject labels posted today gather up some of the main themes of HG Poetics. It's a very informal catalog... much has been left out.

Hopefully a few intrepid explorers will enjoy finding their own way through the labyrinth.
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : history (label : subject/history).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

There are many others...
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : painting (label : subject/painting).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

There are many others...
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : consciousness (label : subject/consciousness).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

Related topics (there are many others): icon, Peirce, subjectivity, "J"...
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : HG poems (label : subject/HG poems).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : Henry (label : subject/Henry).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

Related topics (there are others) : breakdown, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry's books, Shakespeare...
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : long poems (label : subject/long poems).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

Related topics (there are many others):

American poetry, Dante, narrative, numerology, Stubborn Grew...
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : polemics (label : subject/polemics).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

Related topics (there are many others) : carpitude, cheese poetics, community, ideology, satire, social role...
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : poetics (label : subject/poetics).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

Related topics (there are many, many others) :

allusion, beauty, commentary, complexity, incarnational poetics, literary absolute, mathematics, musicality, negative capability, paraphrase, reader, recapitulation, time...
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : Russia (label : subject/Russia).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

Some related topics (there are many others) :

byt, Futurism, Glazov-Corrigan, Potebnia, Russian Ark, Russian art, Tom Epstein, translations, Tsvetaeva...
Here is a cluster of Index labels under the subject : criticism (label : subject/criticism).

I haven't linked to every term in the numerical series for some of these labels (i.e. criticism2, criticism3...), but only to the initial term (i.e. criticism). (See Index for more on this.)

Some related topics (there are many others) :

Acmeism, academy, affinities, American culture, American poetry, Aristotle, classic, classicism, Coleridge, commentary, disinterestedness, holism, investigative poetics, Modernism, postmodernism, Russian poetry, style, wholeness...
I'm going to try adding some homemade subject labels to the Index. The aim is to facilitate searching. These labels will be links to a small cluster of labels on a general topic. I'm sure I'll miss some... also, the number of labels I can add to each post is severely limited. So I'll include a list of related (unlinked) labels in the body of the post.

All the subject labels will be in this form : subject: (ie. subject:criticism).

In order to do this I'll have to post a separate blog entry for each subject. I'm not going to include each separate label in a numbered series (ie. criticism, criticism2, criticism3...) - only the first one (ie. criticism).

Please bear with me... this is an experiment.


Something to read... (see Index)


or this one...

http://hgpoetics.blogspot.com/search/label/language poetry

(often I favor the earlier entries...)

There, I've indexed the entire HG Poetics archive. Whew!

As it happens, the last post I labeled was this one.

"Poetry remains an undiscovered moon."

What's a classic, then?

A classic is a work that remains interesting - necessary - on many levels and in various dimensions of society. That is, valuable to both young lovers & old scholars.

Classic (the adjective) does not by any means equate to famous, successful, traditional, formal, classical, classy, etc.

It does, however, have connotations of original or ground-breaking. Because a classic is - somehow - both inimitable and foundational. It sets the pattern or template for something new which becomes perennial. A true invention.


Almost done with this Big Dig labeling project. Looking forward to getting back to Fontegaia.

I suppose the ponderous pigeonholing somewhat goes against the grain of blog ethos. But HG Poetics has always been a hybrid : Henry's serious American yowl over the rooftops.
Labeling the archives still... almost done...

I thought this one from Dec. 2004 was a pretty good starter-document for would-be critics...

Sort of chimed with a fleeting thought I had yesterday : that the deeper intent of the "serious poet" is - not to become famous, but to become a classic.


Still adding labels... about 2/3rds of the way through. When I'm finished, HG Poetics will be a sort of electronic book. Then it can grow some new leaves, hopefully. I'm enjoying reading old entries, trying to figure out the main points (if any). Sauntering down some esoteric trails...


Now my Index is in pretty good shape, I hope. But I'm only about a third of the way through the archives, so will keep at it.

The fact that I circle around a few obsessive hobby-horses over & over might be an advantage. Adds a diachronic dimension. The topics mesh, occasionally - so the reader can sort of wander through the labyrinth. No doubt much of it is eminently skippable - but the skips aren't long, entries are short.

Labels add coherence to my incoherence, make HG Poetics more reader-friendly (maybe). It's like a catalog. No accident I work in a library. A new kind of book, I guess.

This is also an opportunity for self-examination... maybe more on that later.


Index to HG Poetics

Below is a list of all current labels for HG Poetics topics. I don't know yet how to create direct links from this index, but you can Do It Yourself : just copy this url : http://hgpoetics.blogspot.com/search/label/... - and after the final slash, add on whichever individual topic (from the list below) you want to investigate.

Example : http://hgpoetics.blogspot.com/search/label/Joachim of Fiore

There are also a few "subject" labels. These links provide clusters of related topics - for example, "subject:criticism" collects some of the labels covered by this general subject.

(I've added a link to this post at INDEX on the sidebar, & will update it as it grows.)

Note : there is a neo-medieval glitch in my scriptorium. Because I am loth to choose an updated Blogger template (I love ye old HG Poetics), these labels currently show a maximum of 20 posts only. I don't know how to tweak the html to fix this. So for topics with over 20 entries, I've used the identical label, and numbered them (ie. Mandelstam, Mandelstam2; or Rest Note, Rest Note2, Rest Note3...). To read all the entries on these topics, you have to search each numbered label separately.

(It's easy, actually. Just enter the url - for example, http://hgpoetics.blogspot.com/search/label/Rest Note. Then, to see the other entries for this label, just add a number (2, 3, 4...) at the end of the url, and go there - ie., http://hgpoetics.blogspot.com/search/label/Rest Note2 )

"A" "Henry" "J" "J"2 "M" "W" 1001 Nights 11 1132 132 20th century 20th-century poetry 29 5.28 5.29 9.11 Aaron Beck abject Abolone Abraham academy Acmeism Acmeism2 Acmeism3 acorns action Adagia Adam Kirsch Admiralty adolescence Adorno aesthetics aesthetics2 affinities affirmation Africa Agamben AIDS AIEE Poetry Aizenberg Akhmatova Al Franken Al-Khidr Alan Shaw Alastair Fowler Albright Alcalay alchemy Aleksandr Wat Aleppo Alexander Deriev Alexandrov Alfred Schwaid algorithms Alice Notley alienation Allan Bloom allegory Allen Bramhall Allen Grossman Allen Tate allusion almond Altieri Amazon ambition Ambler America American culture American poetry American poetry2 American poetry3 American Renaissance American speech Americana Amsterdam analogy Anastasios Kozaitis Ancient Light Ancients Andrei Rublev Andrew Ford Andrey Gritsman Ange Mlinko Angel angels Anne Hutchinson Anne Lauterbach Anne Winters Anny Ballardini Anny Ballardini2 Anselm Berrigan antennae Antheil anthologies anthology Anthony Hecht Anthony Lane anti-intellectualism anti-poetry anti-war poems Antichrist Apex of the M apocalypse Appalachia Aquinas architecture Arendt argument Ariadne Ariosto Aristotle Arizona Ark Arnason ars est celare artem Ars Interpres art Arthur Miller artifact artifice Ashbery Asian poetry assassination Athens/Jerusalem Atlantean Atlantis atonement Auden audio recitation Auerbach Austin Farrer authority autonomy Autumn Door Autumn Leaves avant-garde babble Bachelard Bacigalupo Bacon Bahr ballades baptism Barbara Guest Basilique Sainte-Madeleine Baudelaire Baxter Hathaway Beatrice beats beauty beauty2 Beckett Bede bees Beethoven Behrle belief Bellow bells Ben Jonson Benchley Benedict XVI Beowulf Bergson Berkeley Berryman Berryman2 Berryman3 Bhagavad Gita Bible Bible2 Biehrl Billington binaries bird-clock birds birthdays Black Madonna blackface Blackmur Blackstone Blackstone2 Blake Blanchot blogs Bloomsday Blue Guitar Bluejay Bluejay2 blues bluntness Bly boats Bob Dylan Boethius bohemian Bonaventure book bookworm Borges botany Bourdieu Bowling for Columbine breakdown breeze Brent Cunningham Brian Corman Brian Henry Brian Phillips Bridge Broch Brodsky Brodsky2 Brooks brothers Brown Univ. Bruegel Buck Downs Budick Buffalo Poetics List Burning Deck butterflies byt Byzantium cabala Cain-Abel calendar calendar2 calendar3 calendar4 Calvin Coolidge camouflage Campion Campo Candice Millard Cantor Cantos capitalism Captain Gago Cara Gould Carol Christ Caroline Gordon carpitude Cassiopoeia Cassirer Castel del Monte cat catabasis catachresis catenary Catherine Daly Catherine Drinker Bowen cattywompus Cavafy cavaliers CD Wright Celan Ceravolo Chagall Champollion Chan's chapbook Chapel Chapel Hill Chaplinesque chariot charismatic charity Charles Bernstein Charles Olson Charles Olson2 Charles Simic Charles Williams Charles Wright Chaucer cheese poetics Chet Baker Chicago Chicago School Chicago School2 Chicago School3 childhood children's fiction Chinese painting Chopin Chretien de Troyes Chris Kraemer Chris Lott Chris Murray Christian Bok Christianity Christopher Middleton church church-state Cianci cicadas Cid Corman ciphers circumference cities civil society civilization Clarence Brown clarity Clark Coolidge classic classicism Claudia Rankine Cleanth Brooks Clement of Alexandria Clio Clive James Cloisters close readings clown coda coincidentia oppositorum Coleridge Colette Fournier collage color comic commandments commentary commentary2 common good communication community community organizing complexity composition composition2 composition3 Conceptual Poetics conchology conducting Confessional poets Confidence Man confusion conjectures Conrad Aiken consciousness contemplation contests Coppo di Marcovaldo coracle cosmology Costaguana coterie counterfeiting covenants cowboys creation creative writing Creeley crickets criticism criticism2 criticism3 criticism4 criticism5 criticism6 Crusades culture Cusanus Cusanus2 Cushman D'Annunzio Dale Smith Dana Gioia dance dancing Daniel Green Daniel Pritchard Dante Dante2 Dante3 Dark Lady dark matter Darwin David Cashman David Hess David Jones David Kellogg David Kennedy David Orr daydreams decadents decorum deeds deep image Degas Delmore Schwartz Delos Sackett delusions democracy Dennett Denny Moers depth Derek Walcott desire detachment dialogue Diane Gilliam Fisher Dickinson diction difficulty digital emunction dilettantism Dirk Bogarde discourse disinterestedness disjunction dissonance divine Providence DM Thomas documents Dogtown Dolphy domestic hellenism Don Share Donald Justice Donne Dorn Dorr doubleness doubloon Douglas Bush Dove Street Dove Street2 Dove Street3 doves drama dream songs dream-vision dreams Drew Gardner ducats Duccio Duemer duende Dugan Duluth dynamic symmetry early poems early poems2 early poems3 Easter Ecclesiastes Eco economic justice Ed Dorn Edgar Wind Edmund Burke Edmund Wilson education Edward Coke Edward Taylor Edwin Honig ee cummings Ehrenpreis Eileen Tabios Einstein ekphrasis Elder Olson Eleanor Cook elegy Elena Shvarts Elena Shvarts2 Elijah Elio Eliot Eliot Weinberger Eliot2 Elizabeth Bishop Elizabeth Robinson Elizabeth Willis Emanuel Ax embodiment Emerson emotion empathy Empson England English poetry enigma epic epicurean epilepsy Epiphany epistemology epistles equality equanimity equilibrium Eric Selinger Erica Dorf error Erwin Schrodinger espionage essays essays2 eternal return eternity ethics Ethiopia Everyman evil exile expatriates experience experimentalism Fagles failure fair faith Falstaff fame family family crest famine Famous Reporter fate father Faust Fawcett Fellini Felstiner feminine feminism Ferrini fibonacci Ficino film finish Finnegans Wake fire first idea fitness flarf Flaubert fluency folk poetry Fontegaia Fontegaia2 Fontegaia3 Fontegaia4 Fontegaia5 Fontegaia6 Fontegaia7 Fontegaia8 form-content form-structure form-structure2 form-structure3 form-structure4 formalism Forrest Gander Forth of July Forth of July2 Forth of July3 Forth of July4 Forth of July5 Forth of July6 fortress Foust Fox Point Fragment from Purg. frames France Frank Samperi Franz Wright Frayn Frederick II free verse freedom fresco Frisbee Fulcrum fullness fundamentalism Futurism Gabriel Gudding Gabriel Gudding2 Galvin Galway Kinnell Gandhi Gardner Gary Sullivan Gateway Arch gender generals Genesis genius genre Geoffrey Hill geometry George Henry Gould George Kline Gerrit Lansing Gertrude Stein gesture ghazals Ghelderode ghost dance Giants in the Earth Gill Gillian Rose Giotto Glass of Green Tea Glazov-Corrigan Glenn Gould glose glut GM Hopkins Go Little Sparrow God Godel Golden Gate goldfinch Goncharov good will Gospels Gould ancestors Gould Island Goulds government grace Grace Ravlin Grain Elevator Grand Fenwick Grassblade Light Grassblade Light2 Grassblade Light3 Greeks Green Constellation Green Tea Greenblatt Greene Grenier grey grid Grunewald Guatemala Guggenheim Guillaume Barre Guillem de Gellone Gumilev Gunslinger Guy Davenport gyroscope H.D. H.L. Humes hacks Halliday Halloween halos Hamlet Hamlet's Mill harmony Harold Bloom Harold Kaplan Harriet blog Harry Howe Harry Mulisch Hart Crane Hart Crane2 Hart Crane3 Hart Crane4 Harvey Shapiro Hat Hawkwood heaven Hebraism Hecht Heckenberger Hedy Lamarr Heidegger Hejinian Helen Gardner Helen Vendler Helen Whitman Hellenism Hen biography Hendrix Heninger Henry bio3 Henry bio4 Henry bio5 Henry bio6 Henry bio7 Henry Adams Henry bio Henry bio2 Henry bio7 Henry IV Henry James Henry music Henry music2 Henry music3 Henry redivivus Henry Thunder Winnebago Henry V Henry VII Henry's books Heraclitus hermeneutics hermetic heroic poetry heroism Hersh Herzog Hess Hessler hesychasm heteronyms HG in print HG Poetics HG Poetics2 HG timeline hg video Hiawatha hidden hieroglyphics hieros gamos history history2 Hitchens Hobo/hobos Hobo/hobos2 Hoboken hokum Holbein Holderlin holism Holocaust homelessness hoopoe hope Horace horses horseshoe Houlihan House Organ Human Manifesto human nature Human Poetics humanism Humboldt's Gift hummingbird humor IA Richards IB Singer Icarus icon idealism identification identity ideology idiom Ignatius Donnelly Ignatow ignorance illness image image2 imagination Imagism imago Dei improvisation impulse In RI In RI2 incarnation incarnational poetics independence index India Point Indian pipes indie-crit individualism infinity influences injustice insufficiency integrity intellect intelligent design intention interlocutor interviews intuition inventions investigative poetics involuntary memory Iran Iraq Iraq2 Irma Brandeis iron irony Irwin Is Islam Island Road Island Road2 Island Road3 isomorphism Israel Italy Izenberg J. Lesselbaum Jack Birss Jack Kimball Jack Spandrift Jacket magazine Jackson Pollock James D. Bloom James F. Cotter James Gould James Madison James Merrill James Ravlin James Wood James Wright Jasper Johns jazz Jeff Clark Jeff Greenspoon Jeffery Bahr Jeffrey Walker Jennifer Moxley Jeremiah Jerusalem Jerusalem Chamber Jessica Stern Jesus jewelry Jews JF Powers JFK Jim Chapin Jim Harrison Joachim of Fiore Joan Houlihan Joan Retallack Joe Gould John Barr John Irwin John Keats John Latta John Latta2 John Latta3 John Latta4 John McKay John Michell Jonathan Ivry Jordan Davis Jordan Davis2 Joseph Conrad Joseph Cornell Joseph Mitchell Joseph Rock Joseph Roth Josh Corey Josh Corey2 Joshua Clover journalism Joyce Jubilee Judaism judgement jug bands Julie Christie Juliet Julietta 484 Julius July July2 jungle just war justice K-2 poetry Kafka Kalevala Kant Kantorowicz Karen Donovan Karl Young Kasey Mohammad Kasey Mohammad2 Katrina Kay Ryan Keith Waldrop Keith Ward Kenneth Cox Kenneth Warren Kent Johnson Kent Johnson2 Kent Johnson3 Keppel-Jones Kermit Roosevelt Kerouac KGB Bar Khlebnikov kickshaws Kim Lyons kingfisher kingship Kinsella kinship Kirsch knowledge Koeneke Kooser Kristin Prevallet Kruchenyk Kublai Khan Kundera Kwinter La Paz labor labyrinth Laforgue landscape Langdon Hammer language language poetry language poetry2 language poets Lanthanum Lanthanum Road Lanthanum2 lanthanum3 Lanthanum4 Lanthanum5 lanthanum6 Larkin Last Supper lastingness Laura Carter law law of identity Lawrence Lazarus Lee Smolin Leggett Len Deighton Leo Steinberg Leo Strauss Leonardo Leopardi Lermontov Leslie Caron letters (alphabet) letters (alphabet)2 Lev Rubinstein Levenson library life light limericks Lincoln line Lippo Memmi Lippo Vanni Lisa Jarnot literacy literalism literary absolute literary democracy literary friendship literary ghosts literary models literary time literary values little tree logic logos London long poems long poems2 long poems3 Longfellow longing Lorenzetti Lorine Niedecker Louis Menand lousanna Louth love love poetry love2 Lovecraft Low Lowell Lucky lyric Mackie Magdalen magi mainstream Mairead Byrne Malcolm Lowry male chauvinism malice Mallarme Malte mandala Mandelstam Mandelstam2 Mandelstam3 Mandelstam4 Mandelstam5 Mandelstam6 Mandelstam7 manifesto mappamondo marginality Marian Anderson Marianne Moore Mark Scroggins Marlow Marlowe Marsden Hartley Martin Luther King Martin Ramirez Marvell Mary Douglas Mary Karr mask mathematics matrix Matthew Arnold Matthias Mauron maxims maxims2 maxims3 Maximus Maximus the Confessor Maxine Moore May 29 Mayakovsky Mayans Mayhew Mayhew2 Mayhew3 maze Mazzotta McCaffery McClatchy McKane meaning Medusa Mel Gibson melancholy Melchior Melchizedek Melville Melville2 memoir Memorial Day memory memory2 Mendelssohn neighborhood Merrill Gilfillan Merwin messiah metaform metaphor metaphysics metapoetry meteorite metrics Michael Andre Bernstein Michael Eskin Michael Gizzi Michael Gould Michael Harper Michael Moore Michael Theune microcosm Middle Ages middle voice Midwest Midwest Elegies Mike Magee Mike Snider militarism Milman Parry Milosz Milton mimesis Minneapolis Minnesota Minnesota2 Mississippi MLK Moby Dick modernism modernism2 modernity Moevs monasticism monotheism Montaigne Montale moon moralism morality Moschos mosquitos mother Mount David movies Mudlark Mukarovsky mundus Muriel Spark muse muse2 music music2 musicality Musil My Byzantium mystery mystery plays myth Nabokov Nabokov2 Nada Gordon Nadezhda Mandelstam Nancy Kendrick Nancy Pollak narcissism Narragansetts narrative Nathanael West National Poetry Foundation national security Native American Nativity natural law naturalist nature Naumov Nazarene Neanderthals necessity Nedge nef negative capability Negus Nemirovsky neo-classicism neo-medieval Netherlandish art New Americans New Criticism New England New Orleans New Orleans2 New Yorker New Zealand Newman Newport Nicholas Laughlin nightingale Nikolaev Nile nine Noam Chomsky nocturne nominalism nonviolence normative Northrop Frye nostalgia Nostromo notes Notes Toward and so on novels novels2 Novus Ordo Seclorum nowness numerology numerology2 Nuttall NY School NYC O'Donovan O'Hara Oak Tree Day OBERIU obfuscation obituary objective correlative Objectivists objectivity Oblomov obscurity ocarina Ocean State octets Octopus magazine Odysseas Elytes Ohmann oikos Ojibwa old poets olive Omry Ronen Onegin Oppen oppositionalism oppositionalism2 oracles oral poetry order Orhan Pamuk origami originality orotund Orpheus Orpheus2 Orthodoxy Oscar Williams osier otfe otherworldliness Ovid Packer painting painting2 Pale Fire Palio Pankey parable Paraclete paradise Paradise Lost paradox Paragraph paraphrase pariah Paris Pascal Pasternak pastoral Paterson path P pathos Paul Fry Paul Lake Paul Mariani Paula Tatarunis Pavese Pawtucket Peanuts pearls Peirce pencils Penelope penny pentameter perfect Perloff permanence Perry Miller persiflage Pessoa Peter Marquez Peter Murphy Peter O'Leary Peter Riley Peter S. Thompson Petrie Petroski phaser Philip Guston Philip K. Dick Philippe Claudel philosophy phlogiston photos photos2 photos3 photos4 photos5 physics piano Picardy 3rd Pico Piers Plowman Pindar pines Pinsky pivot Plato play pleasure Pleiades plot Plumbline poetry po-biz po-biz2 po-biz3 po-biz4 po-biz5 Poe poems poet vs. State poetic schools poetic schools2 poetic schools3 poetic schools4 poetic word poetic word2 poetic word3 poetics poetics2 poetics3 poetics4 poetics5 poetry Poetry Magazine Poetry Mission poetry-prose poetry-prose2 poetry2 poets poiesis point polemics polemics2 polemics3 polemics4 polis politics politics2 politics3 Pope popularity populism possible post-avant postmodernism postmodernism2 Potebnia pottery Pound Pound2 poverty power pragmatics praise President prestige Prickett Prof. Hinkel professionalization projectivism prophecy prosody Prospect Park Prospect Terrace protest Proust proverb Providence Providence Journal Providence Review Providence2 Prynne Przybylski psalms psyche psyche2 Puerto Rico puns Purgatory Pushkin Pushkin2 Pushkinism Pynchon Quartermain quatrain Queen of Spades quickening quietude quietude2 quietude3 quipu Qutb R.A. York R.S. Crane R.S. Crane2 race Rachel Blau du Plessis Rachel Wetzsteon radio railroad Rakosi Ralph Maud Ralph Wessman Randall Jarrell Rasula rationalism Ravelstein Ravlin read-along reader readings readings2 realism reality reality2 reason recapitulation recitation redemption Regina Derieva Reginald Shepherd regional rejected poems rejected poems2 religion religion2 religious persecution Renaissance Rene Girard renewal repose resonance Rest Note Rest Note2 Rest Note3 Rest Note4 Rest Note5 Restoration era resurrection revelation reverie reviews rhetoric Rhode Island Rhode Island2 Rhodian Manifesto rhodora rhyme Richard Dawkins Richard II Richard McKeon Richard Swinburne ridda riddle Riffaterre righteousness rightness Rilke Rimbaud ring-structure Rite of Spring rivers rivers2 Robert Alter Robert Archambeau Robert Archambeau2 Robert Bly Robert Duncan Robert Frost Robert Vincent Robinson Roger Williams Roger Williams2 Rogier van der Weyden Roland Rolling Stones Romanticism Rome Ron Silliman Ron Silliman2 Ron Silliman3 Ron Silliman4 Ronen Rosmarie Waldrop Ross McDonald Rostropovich Rothko roundheads Rousseau Royal Palm royal seal Rumsfeld Runciman Russell Russia Russia2 Russian Ark Russian art Russian Formalism Russian poetry Russian poetry2 Rykwert Saarinen sabbath sadness Saenz salience Sam Hamill Samizdat magazine Samuel Greenberg Sanford Budick Sanford Schwartz Sappho Sasquatch Sassetta satire Saturn Saul Bellow scapegoat Schell schtick Schwerner science scripture sculpture secularism Seine self-parody self-publishing self-reflexive sensibility seraph seriousness service sestina sexism sexuality Shakespeare Shakespeare's Head Shakespeare2 Shanna Compton shape poems Shattuck Sheba Sherry Brennan Sherwood Anderson ships Shirley Jackson Shklovsky Sibelius Siena Siena2 silence Simon Dedeo Simone Martini Simone Weil Simonides simplicity sincerity Sir Thomas Browne Siskind Skidan Skunk Hour slang slimy rime Snider social role social role2 social role3 social role4 sociology soil solipsism Somatic Mirror song song2 sonnets Sophie sophism Sophocles soul soul freedom sound speech speed Spinoza spirituality spleen sports Spring Quartet St. Francis St. George St. Louis St. Luke St. Patrick St. Paul St. Petersburg St. Petersburg2 Staiger Stalin Stanley Moss star statues Steele Stefans Stepanchev Stephanie Young Stephen Burt Stephen Ellis Steve Evans Stevens Stevens2 Stevens3 Stoicheff Stone stones string theory structure4 Stuart Blazer Stubborn Grew Stubborn Grew2 Stubborn Grew3 Stubborn Grew4 study style subject:consciousness subject:criticism subject:Henry subject:HG poems subject:history subject:long poems subject:painting subject:poetics subject:polemics subject:Russia subjectivity sublime submarines suicide Suite Francaise Sukenick summer Superman Supreme Fiction surpassing surprise Susan Brown Susan Howe Susan Stewart swing Sylvia Moubayed Sylvia Petrie symbol Symbolism synthesis Tagliabue Talisman talk Tarkovsky Tartt taste Tate tautology technique Ted Berrigan teleology telos Temple Emanu-el temple-cleansing Tennyson terrorism Terry Eagleton text Thanksgiving The Hat the person the person2 The Return theism theme Theocritus theology theology2 theory Theune Thilleman Thoreau Tim Yu Timaeus time Time Flowers time travel time-space time2 Timothy Hyman Tiscione To Natasha Shtempel Tocqueville Toledo tolerance Tom Chandler Tom Clark Tom Davis Tom Epstein Tom Fleming Tom Raworth Tomlinson Tony Tost torque torture toys TR tradition tradition2 tradition3 transcendentalist Transit of Venus translations transumption Treadwell trees trickster Trinity triptych trobar clus tropics trumpets trusty truth Tsvetaeva tunnels Turing turtles Tutu Twins typewriter typology Unconquerable World Underground City understanding understatement United States unity universalism Updike Urs von Balthasar ut pictura poiesis utopia vagueness Valentine's Day Valery Valis Vallejo Vancouver Vasily Grossman venants Vendler Venus Vertigo vesica Vico Victorians Vienna Viereck Viola Sachs violence Virgil Virgin vision vision2 Voronezh Vvedensky W Wachtel Waitts Wanda Landowska war War and Peace war2 Washington Watermelon Pickle waves Way Stations Way Stations2 Way Stations3 WC Williams weather Weinberger Weinstein weirdness Weldon Kees well wellness wheel of Virgil Whitman Whitman2 wholeness wholeness2 Wilbur Willa Cather William Dalrymple William Gould William Logan William Safire Williams Winesburg Ohio Winters wisdom wit Witz Wolfram wonder work worldview writer's block WW Brown WW I Wyatt Wyoming Yeats Yourcenar YouTube Yvor Winters Zaccheus Gould zeitgeist Zolli Zukofsky

... so take Path P into labyrinth HG P.


Allen Bramhall is reading my book in Starbucks, says kind word. New England, May (2007). This is old country. Poets in moss & old manses. Makes me happy.
I've been (ant-like) labeling the 4 years and 2600 posts of HG Poetics; soon, hopefully, there will be an actual Index of HG Obsessions & Hobby-Horses. But now it's time to go back to Fontegaia, chapt. 2...


Spring wheels around once more. Air
grows temperate. Providence in flower
swells and sighs, exhales its myrrh
(lilac, viburnum, mountain laurel).

Slow contrail traces a white thread
across evening sky. Paints one
straight line (evanescent
fresco). Distant chord

of freight-train horn. Plangent
sundown. Next door, kids toss
horseshoes (last trace of race-
horse). Clang (iron fundament).

Amazon remains the same (zone
of absent plenitude). Bugs drone
in unison (to Judgement Day). Bone
rots (waits); iron = rust; only word

is adamant (alpha to omega, end
to end). And water shapes it
(preternatural stream) like tropic
parakeet - like warbling Reverend

in Nev-Neverland (a rainbow
collar over morning gray).
Light filters the prism, day
trembles (hand in sky)... so

evening to morning wheels toward
Everytown. Providence (primordial
prototype) is in the droning bell
now - is everlasting word.

photo by Richard Benjamin
Finished Suite Francaise. Moving, beautiful, heart-rending. Tremendous. Goes into "metafiction", as at the end you read her journal entries, in which she plans new sections of the novel (fascinating entry into compositional process), & comments with searing clarity, insight, irony, on the situation in France and her own impending doom (she was murdered, as was her husband, in Auschwitz). Astonishing story of this book's survival.

(Interesting to read this after having read H.L. Hymes' Underground City.)


Reading Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky. Here's NY Times review.

Listened to fascinating interview on NPR with Christopher Hitchens, about his recent book God is Not Great. He is a very witty guy. Valuable sacred cow-punching.

Yet for me there are these 2 basic possibilities : either there is "higher consciousness" or not. I go with the former. Even without such things as the "argument for design" etc. You don't need to be a philosopher to recognize the beauty of the universe and the poignancy of life.

It's a profound intellectual (or spiritual) step, to accept the notion of the (granted, mysterious) "personal" quality of the universe : that life is ordered - somehow - around consciousness.

I call it the Byzantium waltz. (An icon represents the divine, and the divine imago, as one.)

This is at the root of my own (somewhat eccentric, I suppose) concept of the normative, the classic, the Acmeist, the Pushkinian, the human, the Hellenic-Hebraic, the Joycean, the Mandelshtam-Celanian, the Dantean-Montalean...

& at the root of my particular distinction between the synthetic song-imagination of poetry, and every other kind of discourse.


All this HG Poetics annotating makes me feel like a certain character in Pale Fire.
... speaking of daughters, today is my daughter Phoebe's birthday.

On this day Constantinople was founded as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. I was born on the day it fell (May 29, in 1453).


I sent poet Gabriel Gudding a poem written a few years ago. I thought he might like it because he has a Providence connection, & because it involves a mysterious someone named "Clio" - which is his daughter's name too.

Lo & behold - it turns out these two Clios were most likely one and the same !

I'm amazed... it's as if three writers were playing a game of secret messages...

(re-affirms my faith in a "special providence" of poets - a belief (superstition?) instilled years ago as I read Nadezhda Mandelstam's memoir, Hope Against Hope...)
I'm gradually going back and indexing posts with these labels. This is a very useful feature for a gab-o-rama like HG Poetics. Try clicking on one!
Reading more about Joachim of Fiore these days. I think I'm sort of preparing for next phase of Fontegaia chapter - from the Siena Palio horserace to the 4 horses of Joachim's Apocalypse.

Joseph Ratzinger (currently Pope) wrote a book about St. Bonaventura's theology of history which touches on Joachim. I'm going to look it up.

There's kind of a thread which ties together (in my mind, anyway) Joachim - the Franciscans - San Francesco - Giotto & other painters - hobo America - my Siena poem. (There's also a thread linking Joachim - Vico - Joyce - & me.)

Tying together all these threads about time & history & horseraces & world-renewal. The article on the Antikythera mechanism (basically a very elegant cosmic clock) is in there too somehow.

What is the cornerstone of the wholeness of the poem? Why, the Moon, of course (says the loony poet)! The 7-day week and the lunar cycle... solar reflection (consciousness)... Forth of July (7/4, or "28")...


Love this New Yorker article on the Antikythera Mechanism.
Mandelstam : "an arch appears in my muttering".

For me, this is one of the most concise & precise characterizations of the poetic process.

Artists testify to the creative experience as a moment which begins when the art-work coalesces, forms an integral whole. Sometimes the poet intuits this process in advance. It's an act of imagination and synthesis. This is the point : the art work is some kind of organic-conceptual whole.

The poem fits together : its sound, its imagery, its plot, its meaning(s). A new invention, a little world unto itself.

Paintings fit together, novels fit together, musical compositions fit together... & poems - rhythmic incantations - also fit together.

This fitness & integrity of the unique art-work - within its very particular and specific mode - prose narrative, drama, music, visual art, poetry - this wholeness - is its ruling characteristic, without which the work does not really exist.

Of course there will be crossings and shadings between verse and prose, narrative and lyric, lyric and dramatic. Novels & plays will be written in verse, prose will intrude into poems, etc. But this does not negate the primary requirement of aesthetic wholeness, whatever the specific genre or rhetorical mode.

If you start with wholeness, and then look at the particulars of diction and style, you might be able to distinguish more precisely the difference between the achieved poem and the merely textual discourse, scribble, speech, imitation, or harangue.


What a cussed vexed bone of contention is this eternal debate over tradition & innovation, Moderns & Antients... in these matters, I come across often enough as a ponderous prig, which is not what I want...

Where do I stand, then?

As I see it, the world itself is "poetry", in Wallace Stevens' general sense - and there are many kinds of expressions or reflections of same offered by all kinds of artists, visual, musical, performance, comic, prosaic, dramatic, etc. & etc... - all kinds of unique inventive amalgams of various arts...

- but as for me, I want to keep playing up an (optional) distinction between prose & poetry, because I have something "thematic" or topical invested in the notion of "the poetic Word" as a very high kind of exalted song-vision... - & exalted doesn't have to mean ponderous or serious or prim, just inspired & ecstatic...

- such things can never be programmatic - because when they do become so, they lose their inner rightness, become sentimental or exclusionary... & life's poetry is not programmable, it is not an acquisition of any kind....


Where the "experimentalists" get it wrong : they forget that calculation = prose.

Poetry is the surge of music pressing against every form of utilitarian, merely functional speech. The poet shapes reality through song : we forget how different this behavior is, how different it sounds.

& I'm not talking (in obscurantist, pseudo-romantic, sub-intellectual, "mystical" fashion) about poetry vs. reason. Ultimately these opposites meet : that's what song celebrates.
re previous post : of course, red flags pop up at the mention of "natural development". As well they should. In art, everything is conceptual.

Everything except the medium itself. By "song" in poetry I refer back to previous posts about the idea of poetry as perennial fluency, or a sort of omnipresent bee-hum.

This sounds sub-intellectual, sentimental, merely visceral - until you consider the possibility that the medium is a vehicle for forms of intelligible-conceptual invention, communication, aesthetic-conceptual syntheses : complexes inexpressible by any other means.

Thus what I suggest as "natural development" is not so much a WC Williamsish, Emersonian, Whitmanic or Poundian version of American origination, as a movement of American (literary) civilization toward fusion/assimilation with world history and culture as a whole : the echo of (global) perennial fluency in an American dialect.

The postmodern/"New American" emphasis on informality, slang, minor modes - this was a healthy reaction to many strange literary-historical-Modernist pomposities & perversities... yet we need to recognize its limitations, its "period style" aspects. Just as we need to understand that the prosaic materialism of the Language School closed the door on most of the normative distinctions between poetry and prose, and thus on the distinct qualities and resources of poetry.


dicey dichotomies

Robert Archambeau's recent remarks on the "Battle of Chicago" (Brit Poetry Wars) echo the various histories of stylistic division on these shores (SoQ/Post-Avant, New Americans/New Critics, Experimentals/New Formalists, Raw/Cooked, Moderns/Victorians, etc. etc.).

Have been wondering (in a vague way) this week whether these dichotomies are not symptoms of something deeper, more elusive - something involved with the nature of poets & poetry generally...

If to make a poem is to take a particular step into the social, public arena, perhaps there's a basic binary there - the step is either joining or defying (or escaping, or avoiding). Either yes or no.

The trouble is, every poet is a jumble of yes and no - mixed together in a unique, unrepeatable way. Often the efforts to align or group poets (mainstream or oppositional, for example) involve eliding the uncomfortable fact that group defiance is just the obverse of group joining.

It seems best to focus on the aims and motives of a particular work, rather than aligning poets with groups or styles. Because the most accomplished writing often involves a process of distinguishing or differentiating - which is the method by which the work says something clear, determined and new.

As for me, I'm a chaos of mixed motives & feelings. Discouragement over (non)recognition - combined with fear of entrapment in what seems like self-enclosed, ingrown aestheticism (part of me doesn't like being a poet). & on another level, the difficulty involved in balancing poetry with other kinds of thought (religion, philosophy...). Poetry & thought don't always work together. They're like two headstrong horses on a chariot...


Yes, this is a wave from the Pushkinian-Petersburgian future golden age.
Received first copies of new pocket-size version of some of my books. This is how I want them to be! Small, handy, inexpensive, easy to put in pocket etc.

Now I'd like to roam the country like Walt or Vachel, spread them around.


(Tinkered a little with Way Stations, added photo on back.)

(Also tidied up Dove Street. Now they are really just right.)

(And tweaked Chapel Hill, added photo. Done.)


Fontegaia burbles on. I wonder who understands this.


Proud Guidoriccio (upon his stallion
clad in rich honey-gold and black) still rides
over the blank space of an absent mappamondo.
Year after year, mesmerized horsemen

replay the triumph of their city-state.
Res publica del popolo - an April quattrocento
renascence - young lovely Sienese (memento
) twirling the ridda hand-in-hand, sweet

and sedate... (O Primavera). Plague
brought down the curtain on them all.
Only a somber scolding wraith (dismal
Baptist with bare talon-toes) raged

through the chastened aftermath.
The merchants (in their wills) heaped
ashes on their brows. The Reaper reaped.
Wheedling warlords waded in (bloodbath).

Yet... neither libertine nor puritan, bells
drone on. Sound like an iron whisper
flows in waves across the sleepy air.
An equilibrium (Diana, Dionysius).

Like the slowest horse in the race - Ramirez
hobo-caballero, con crayon - swaying
King Bumblebee, atop dawdling (braying)
donkey (or sleepy waiter Biff - sez

the magic circus-word is : hippopotamus)
riding an iron horse through his peculiar
tunnel of love (Chet's trumpet, silver).
And the iron rose through disaster (us)

and the rust of river-water - through
august Augustus, Augustine's hip hippo, all
wolverine Rome, cavernous Constantinople -
til it roosted in a glinting horseshoe

buried in speechless soil (black earth
of curious Rus). Like the copper penny
of a saturnine pilgrim - unearthed now,
uncanny. So the Campenone berthed.
The history poem In RI is now available in pocket-size edition.