A few notes regarding the obscurities of previous post (& other excerpts like it), for anyone interested. July is 3rd penultimate vol. of long long poem Forth of July (4th vol. is brief coda, called Blackstone's Day-Book, published with Island Road). Poem in previous blog entry of today is from 2nd, final section of July, called "The Green Constellation".

"G.C." is kind of ecstatic conclusion to whole poem, following 1st part of July, titled "Upstream, Down", which is kind of an imaginary "journey into the interior", down & up the Ms., paralleling the center of previous vol. Grassblade Light (Grassblade is centered on source of Mississippi; July is centered on the Delta).

Anyway, "G.C." was composed in four equal parts (24 poems each), sort of balancing the 1st 4 chapters of the 1st book (Stubborn Grew). Though the 4 parts are printed consecutively (I-II-III-IV), they were written "across", ie. I wrote them in this order: I.1, II.1, III.1, IV.1, I.2, II.2, III.2... etc. (each poem is dated, so the reader can read it "across or down"). The idea was to create this big sort of echoing square, thinking in part of the effect of Russian bells (cacaphonous-harmonious). As you get toward the end (I.24 etc), 4 letters standing for 4 bell-tones become more pronounced : D, F-sharp, A, E - the simple door-chime tones - except I inverted them to spell "F-A-D-E". You can see that the previous poem is from the "D" section.

The spanish quote in this poem from from Vallejo's "Poemas Humanas". Among other things, the section threads together various motifs from earlier in the work, including the balance of Caesar/Cesar (Vallejo), Julius (Caesar)/Juliet/Jubilee etc, March 15th (Ides of March) and April 15th (Good Friday - death of Vallejo & Abraham Lincoln), e-mpire and e-quality (under the shadow of the "W" &/or the gold doubloon nailed to the mast at the center of the Pequod (in Moby-Dick), from Quito, Ecuador (e-quator). The "Forth of July" figures the emergence of a "jubilee-bee" or butterfly from the husk or cicada shell or military shield of Julius (empire) - basically a sort of magic letter-game. What was an orphic "Romeo" search for a ghostly "Juliet" in Grassblade Light becomes a kind of spiritual image of metamorphosis on a cultural level in July. All this was oddly & shamanistically "predicted" by the Hermes/Orpheus-figure of "Bluejay" in Stubborn Grew.

I'll post another poem from the "Green Constellation" section which points toward the Russian bell phenomena. Incidentally, the penultimate section of the sonnet sequence Island Road (1996) is titled "To the Green Constellation". (The "Green Constellation", among other things, was actually the brand name of simple Sears typewriter, lent to me by Francesca Tagliabue, on which many of my early poems were written.)

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