... bringing me to the diagram with which I began the previous post.

What might a "neo-medieval" reading of Stubborn Grew/The Rose (Forth of July) involve?

ut pictura poiesis. Most of my long poems have paintings all through them. (My mother is an artist - I grew up with the smell of turpentine & canvases.)

Think of poetry as occupying a middle ground between painting and the unrepresentable (God's name, Simone Weil's "decreation"). Ekphrasis : in two directions at once.

Chinese characters/brush strokes.

Stubborn begins and ends with "J". (Bluejay : the bird, the man; Juliet, Jonah ["dove", sister-dove], Julie, July, Jubilee, Jerusalem...)

"J", the letter, comes from "i", iota, jot, yhod : the smallest letter of the Hebrew script, maybe going back to Egyptian/Phoenician pictograph for "hand" or "arm". In Hebrew, it's the 10th letter, the smallest letter (jot or tittle), a little dot or black wing-stroke or swirl. A J-swirl.

The whole poem can be understood as an ekphrasis-expansion from the letter J. (When I was beginning to write it, I was heavily influenced by a particular Melville study, titled Game of Creation, by Viola Sachs, which goes into the scriptorial letter-symbolism deeply encrypted into Moby Dick.) A Book of J.

This practice is maybe a new-old kind of neo-medieval classicism : in which the individual imagination is not stifled by dogma, but tempered by the necessary impossibility of representing the Invisible, the Unspeakable.

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