Saturday, February 9, 2013

9 feb 2013


Hello again. 

I've been in Chile — Santiago, Pichelemu, Talca, Pelluhue, Casablanca, Curacaví, Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Santiago — eating, drinking, taking pix, reading Shea/Wilson's The Illuminatus! Trilogy [fnord], translating. 

Astonishing to find so many people we know living in Santiago, a first-world city.

Read here @ jacket2 a thoughtful introduction to language poetry in a review of The Grand Piano.

Murat Nemet-Nejat [pic courtesy of Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival]

The frame of a Bresson movie is a jail
the escape is going outside that jail
it all starts with the noises one hears,
becoming one, knowing what the noises are.
that’s freedom.

the word Oklahoma? A wild, alien, distant sound . . . an intimate sound, one of the rare words in English with vowel harmony . . . alien ground in which [the] private soul can nest itself, the synthesis between the powerful and the victim . . . What is the word Oklahoma after all, but the imprint of the Native American, the victim, the invaded in the language of the master. . . .

alienation, instability between writer and language, a radical skepticism about its ability to reveal inner truth constitute its essential nature. The relation of the poet to the language is inescapably confrontational. American English is the quintessential unnatural, insufficient, weak language which the writer has to bend, distort, to translate into, to interject his or her vision. To me, three nineteenth century writers, none of them Jewish but white protestant, embody this accented writing: Hawthorne, Melville and Dickinson. . . . Dickinson invents a language which only pretends to be English and must be read over and over again to be stripped into its message, a violent sadomasochism. Words are private emblems, the syntax unstable, constantly shifting, not quite an "English" syntax, the smooth "hymnal" surface hiding, shafted with a sadomasochistic violence. . . .

What do sun, father, Hunter, He, God, etc. (all images of authority) mean in [Emily Dickinson’s] work? Nothing. They are essentially blank emblems, a chain of Moby Dicks, completely stripped of their traditional associations, around which the poet weaves her barely decipherable soul. Under the deceptive music of a hymn, of a little embroidering lady, the blankness of these crucial images liberates/unhinges the syntax in the poems, completely privatizes it.

When In Santiago, visit Jardín Mapulemu, Bosque de la Tierra, in Parque Metropolitano de Santiago, to learn about the plants that grow in Chile:

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