Walking home from work last night, thinking of Jordan's comments on reading Raworth, did I have a minor epiphany, or just another wobble of opinion? But it did occur to me, that lambasting "langpo" for highlighting the signifier is a hopeless endeavor. Why? Because leaning on the signifier is so integral to all poetry; and, despite the wheedling mutilations of "Theory" which some "language poets" use to justify their mediocre verse, they, along with all poets, are just as wrapped up with, enamoured of, the youthful geste of the word-for-its-own-sake: the poet's most basic assertion of independence, which is to have fun with words, no matter how irrelevant & insignificant & socially-disengaged that activity may be, no matter what the consequences. So underlying their opportunist theorizing is a more basic & shared impulse toward (literary) freedom, liberation.

So that perhaps even the "highest", the most ambitious, profound, engaged, meaningful, relevant, knowing, great, etc., poetry is - at some hermetic & inaccessible level - grounded on fun - and if not, it rings tinny, ponderous, hypocritical, phony, etc.


Extra-nice & precise over at Hotel this morning. Still, I would say, there is a place for the "objective", for observation. All Proust's qualifiers & refinements (the inward experiential accuracy of impressionism) nevertheless require it. & without basic perception, the stylistic excesses fall just as bloatedly in the other direction.

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