1.27.2009

Having minor comment-box skirmishes about flarf today, over at Possum Ego. Kind of fun.

Maybe'll spur me on to another screed or manifesto. Oh boy!

from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man :

"--To finish what I was saying about beauty, said Stephen, the most
satisfying relations of the sensible must therefore correspond to the
necessary phases of artistic apprehension. Find these and you find the
qualities of universal beauty. Aquinas says: AD PULCRITUDINEM TRIA
REQUIRUNTUR INTEGRITAS, CONSONANTIA, CLARITAS. I translate it so: THREE
THINGS ARE NEEDED FOR BEAUTY, WHOLENESS, HARMONY, AND RADIANCE. Do
these correspond to the phases of apprehension? Are you following?"

He makes it sound easy... but I'm liking better what I've been delving into in Maximus the Confessor.

THE EXILE OF THE CLEAR, THE DETERMINATE, THE INTELLECTUAL, THE PERSONAL (IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY)

- or something like that.

By clear and determinate I'm thinking of Maximus's (Aristotelian) high valuation of the particular individuality of every thing - each part of a whole retains its unity and uniqueness, as part -

the universal only exists in relation to the particular, the specific - & vice versa -

If we have the fortitude to look at time & space & history & experience as real, actual - then part of the poet's task might be to grasp & reflect, as clearly as possible, this set of limited and determinate actualities - & synthesize them, transpose them into form(s) of intellectual meaning - & in the process express the very unique whatness & quiddity of himself or herself, as unique being/creature/person... this I think is in line with both GM Hopkins & Joyce... doesn't Hopkins call it "selving"? Maybe not. Inscape. & History.

(For Maximus this harmonic many-in-one is underwritten by the utterly ungraspable simplicity, unity & quiddity of its Creator... the integrity of wholes & individuals is an imperfect reflection of that incommensurable divine integrity...)

But the recent generations of postmodern poetics (from Buffalo unto Flarf) seem determined to dismiss & deny such quidditas...

- more later maybe -

1 comment:

Meg said...

Ah well there are still a few courageous souls about...some have been in hiding for at least a generation or two..waiting it all out.

The truth. What one must know prior to delving into the mysteries of er...if you will...poetry. The things that stand the test of time.

I'm not sure about Flarf...is it really so outside of all that polemical and quasi SoQ albeit really post avant or avant grandiosity afterall?

Why write poems at all then?


Yes. To be an informer. From the past to the present. From the knowledgable to the ignorant as in those who ignore the mightiest information.

My suggestion to you is to read the Nahjul Balagha. Order it in book form rather than try it on the internet.

Perhaps then you will see where we are heading and how the template of time is shaping up in the ways that it is...for poets and soldiers alike.

Peace