Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Josh Hanson had a recent post quoting a bit of A.R. Ammons' Garbage remarkably congruent with the little piece of Kiosk-in-progress that I posted below. Of course the old words/world division is one that I'm constantly and compulsively exploring. The third category I consider is that of nature, or Heidegger's "earth." In fact that's one of the things I'm exploring in the poem, a question my studies in pastoral has led me to: is there such a thing as an essentialist nature (within humans or without them); and, regardless of whether or not this is so, what is gained, risked, or lost in behaving as if it's so? Which is also I suppose a very Ammonsesque question—my dissertation chair Roger Gilbert would be pleased if he knew (he's writing Ammons' biography). Ammons' formal choices, particularly his brand of discursivity, has never attracted me very much, which is why I'm not considering including him in my dissertation (he'd be a shoo-in if I was writing about modern, not modernist pastoral). The form of the poem that's taking shape owes much more to Williams, Zukofsky, and Olson—page as field. But there's a discursive element too, emerging perhaps out of my new interest in normative yet complex syntax as an engine for poetry. Well. This is all very cart before the horse; the poem's not halfway written yet. It's interesting to write in public like this; it raises the stakes considerably. Screw your courage to the sticking place, Mr. Corey.

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