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The world appears more interesting when you live more than half way to the pole. Different voices too.
"I discovered the Theory of Relativity while riding a bicycle." ~ Albert Einstein ~

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Defence of Poetry 2004: Antjie Krog

I ran across the Poetry Internationl Web a day or two ago. There are so many refreshing messages here among the anguish and dispair.

I was struck by this:

Unlike America, unlike God or Islam, poetry does not need people to come to her aid. In this sense she is more powerful than God because she does not need people to defend her. She does not expect that anyone serve her blindly. Those who love her do so independently and this immediately sets them free.

It is a must read.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Poems track trauma

I guess I missed this but it seemed worth giving some time to none-the-less. Steve Mason, poet laureate of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

It was reported by the Veterans for Common Sense.

This stuck out:

He banged them out, some in single sittings, on an old Underwood typewriter. He says he never rewrites.

"Johnny’s Song" had a first printing of 35,000, almost unheard of for a book of poetry. One poem, "A History Lesson," begins like this:

Since Vietnam,/ three things hold my universe together:/ gravity, centrifugal force and guilt.

The poem "The Wall Within" begins like this:

Most real men/ hanging tough/ in their early forties/ would like the rest of us to think/ they could really handle one more war/ and two more women./ But I know better./ You have no more lies to tell./ I have no more dreams to believe.

Friday, September 17, 2004

September going quickly. It is the time to be outside and riding.

Exploring Modern Art

Blue Rider Special

Dead red
Kandinsky bled
abstractly into Klee
eerily transforming symbols

Twenty seven syllables comprising 15 words, 4 of them proper nouns, 2 famous modern art surnames, the title of an almanac on art from the German school of Expressionists. How long could it take to write something simple like that?

Red, blue and yellow are primary colors (abstract symbols) Red and blue are in the poem and yellow is understood, it comes from the reader, necessary for completeness, cannot be avoided, the source of light. I think of the first line in Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken,

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
. . .
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The light was on “two roads” obvious symbols of a choice to be made in a “yellow” wood— so it must be something to accord ones attention.

I wrote this poem to draw attention to (shed some light on) the artistic similarities between abstract art and poetry. Frost was not know as a symbolist, actually he rebelled against the use of them, but he used them none-the-less.

There even when not explicit. Thus spake Derrida.