Thursday, April 8, 2010

poetry, daily: 6

"I am not proceeding by linear deduction, but rather by concentric circles, moving sometimes toward the outer and sometimes toward the inner ones.... Rather than founding a theory--and perhaps before being able to do so (I do not deny that I regret not yet having succeeded in doing so)--my present concern is to establish a possibility" (Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge. London: Routledge Classics, 2007; pp 128-29).

#657: Emily Dickinson

I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
Superior--for Doors--

Of Chambers as the Cedars--
Impregnable of Eye--
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky--

Of Visitors--the fairest--
For Occupation--This--
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise--


If poetry is the mode of possibility, as both Foucault's poetics and Dickinson's poem seem to imply, then how is that expressed? How to create a form that continues in possibility? How to renew the language (repeatedly) so it can be alive, rather than easy? How can poems themselves be "a project for reconstituting [their own] aesthetic form" such that "a disordering of one's senses of the work would make us dwellers in possibility" (Jerome McGann and Lisa Samuels, "Deformance and Interpretation" in Poetry and Pedagogy, ed. Joan Retallack and Juliana Spahr. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006; p 154).



Writing exercise: Take Dickinson's poem and break it apart. Insert spaces, move words around, break lines, make new lines, extend lines; do everything except add words. Make a new reading or a new poem.

See you tomorrow.

All work here © 2010 and onward to me, Eireann Lorsung. Please do not reproduce my words in any form in print or online. If you wish to excerpt parts from the month of poetry featured here, please contact me: ohbara at gmail dot com.

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Blogger tree shadow moon said...

Agh, it's getting more difficult day by day! Thanks though :)

April 8, 2010 7:48 PM  

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