Some follow-up to previous post...

"Acmeism"... it's not the specifics of the Russian phenomenon that interest me, it's the indications of a general stance and impulse. It would be silly to try to replicate or import "Russian Acmeism" per se (& I'm sure many would find previous essay silly on the face of it).

The combination of theory and practice - ie., to be more precise, the example of living poetry culture - represented by Mandelstam & co. is what draws me.

And the key thing is that I agree with Wallace Stevens's & Hart Crane's basic position (standing on the shoulders of Whitman, Melville, Emerson and Dickinson) that "America" offers an appropriate place for poetry to spring up. Poetry can "originate" here just as well as anywhere else. This is slightly different from the positions of Eliot and Pound, who were under the influence & shadow of Eurocentric and expatriate Henry James. Pound's conflicted-aggressive attitude marks him as an "upstart colonial" (with the emphasis on colonial) - paradoxically, he remains stuck in that attitude of (rebellious) epigone of James.

I know this sounds like I'm working out "positions" which became antiquated decades ago! & the reason for that is that, as I stated in the essay, I feel myself between Eliot and Crane. My "religion" is not Romantic-transcendentalist (Crane), neither is it exactly "medieval-traditionalist" (Eliot) : it's somewhere in between. My "America" is not exactly nationalist, nor purely imaginary (ideal); it has roots in colonial New England, in Native America, and in Europe.

In this regard, Mandelstam and Akhmatova (& Brodsky also, to some extent), by giving an example of how a poet can be both Russian and global (part of "world culture"), offer me a slightly different model for an impulse they share with Pound and Eliot (that is, the impulse to participate in "European poetry" as an organism, a unitary phenomenon). And this difference, for me, makes it possible to envision a kind of middle way between the Americanists and the world-culture expatriates.

I'm going on like this (oddly enough) because I believe that what a poet does can't simply be equated with or reduced to his or her literary genealogy. It can't even be reduced to "art" (in its Poe/Baudelairean Symbolist-Modernist formations). It's something more distinctive, autochthonous, uncanny, and "contemporary" (Now). So I'm offering here a sort of imaginary "genealogy" for the relatively sui generis activity of my own poetry-making.

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