Monday, always a good time to backtrack. I can't "prove" a poetics. Moreover, there will always be an oscillation between the "out there" & the "made thing", even if you can idealize Reality with a capital R as inherently singable. Somehow the poetics has to include the completely useless.

In a way that's what I started with on this blog, when I wrote about the babble of the SOUND of poetry, as reflexive, turned back on itself - the source, perhaps, of Plato's suspicion. I think, though, that my general tendency in these polemics is to protest against the self-reflexive as a system: what I've seen in postmodern poetry as a denial of the relationship between the poem & an "out there", or, a similar position, the attitude that reality is always more chaotic & meaningless than the artificial structures, the imaginary worlds, of art.

I guess I feel in sympathy with the general attitude of the Objectivists & neo-objectivists (Anastasios pointed out to me in a backchannel their affinities with the Russian Acmeists): the view that poetry is in relationship with an actual "out there" which can't be dismissed as either meaningless, chaotic, or simply presented as the stasis of cliche. It's a relationship in which both art & reality signal & gesture toward one another, and poetry exhibits an innate harmoniousness that it discovers in both. Such "realism" is, for me, one of the avenues connecting present-day poetry to all the poetries of the past; acknowledging the simple, direct & mimetic in speech and representation, without insisting on some prescriptive, necessary or a priori version of them. & if we go from there to these interesting ideas from Anastasios about nature in poetry, the "aural analogue" (or the beautiful sound & its analogy in "inscape"), maybe we can see how, in a preliminary sketchy way, such a perspective begins to show the outlines of a consistent poetics (& by that I mean not a technique but an understanding of what poetry is & can be). Moshe Safdie again, on architecture & the natural/cultural landscape (see recent NYorker article).

OK enough of these wearisome abstractions. . . it is Monday after all. . .

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