Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book News: Remando de noche


Remando de noche is a volume of Donald Wellman’s poetry, presenting both English text and a translation in Spanish by Francisca González Arias. The poems included form an anthology drawn from the early volume Fields, as well as from recent work such as Roman Exercises. The volume contains an apparatus in Spanish consisting of an introductory essay by David Rich and commentaries on each of the individual poems. A publication of Biblioteca Javier Coy d’estudis nord-americans, the editor Nicolás Estevez has conceived of the volume as a way of presenting the work of a contemporary North American poet to Spanish-speaking students of poetry and translation. Remando de nochd offers a significant overview and analysis of Wellman’s poetic development.

 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lyric Mode


Lyric mode, a conclusion that precedes a beginning, The conception of the “lyric mode” offered here is not offered as an argument bearing on or modifying some body of theory with which it might be thought of as in a certain relation of tension, proposing, a might otherwise have been the case, a modification or challenge. I draw instead upon an amalgamation of perceptions that may have some meaning in their own right, apart from imputations that, admittedly, I hold dear. Unlike various formalisms, or formularies even, as may be found to have been articulated in the history of poetry from the classical age to the present day, for instance, endeavors toward achieving a purely classical or “well-wrought” lyric or toward realizing a conceptual poetry or a language-centered poetry in which authorship or voice have been decentered, and without gainsaying the potentials of these modes, I seeks to portray the expressive powers of desire as embodied in poetry or the use of poetic devices. The desires of which I speak manifest themselves most often in processes of perception or composition. Scarcely a poem attains resolution or form without registering its place in the slipstream of time. The element of seriality, which I choose to emphasis over and against the integrities that bind a sonnet or a villanelle, for instance, into a well-made whole, will not admit a poetics of beginnings and ends. All is middle. Middle-voice, as Olson once put it. The poems I write about never truly complete themselves and often carry within their texture nodules that are holistic fragments of related intensities. These fragments may have been understood by Emerson, may represent what Pound meant by radiant gist or pith. They are perhaps moments in a charged field that might also itself be thought of as composed of laminated sheets or layers. Vector or direction of flow accounts for the immediate surface energy and tension of the reading experience, Spinozistic flows of desiring-production as theorized by Deleuze and Guattari. A different Spinoza, rationally geometric, imposing formal limits on prosody as per Zukofsky is also central to potentialities of the “lyric mode.” I amalgamate without proposing programmatic affinities. Condensation to meet rigorous requirements may seem to be the sine qua non of composition. What is most palpable in the “lyric mode” is a pulse that clarifies itself in language (massaged, exercised, channeled). Composition of this order bespeaks unthought complexities of reading pleasure.