The articulation of absurdity

"...a thing, any thing, impinges on us by a more important fact, its self-existence, 
without reference to any other thing, in short, the very character of it which calls our 
attention to it, which wants us to know more about it, its particularity."
							                                --Charles Olson

If we could hold any 


in hand or mind, 
any singular, self-existent 


without reference to any other 


then that 


would and could 
only be the only

We would find our selves holding 


whole universe, 



for what else 
could we hold 
without reference 
to any other 


We would find ourselves 
held in the hands
of angels

and annihilated.

12 thoughts on “The articulation of absurdity

    • The absurdity I intended to mean when I titled this was Olson’s idea of any thing’s “self-existence” which when compared to a buddhist concept of contingency strikes me as unreasonable and, well, absurd. But then as I wrote the piece, I had to question the reasonableness of my own propositions, hence the entrance of annihilating angels, a la Rilke.


    • Well, my initial gut response to your question was “No. Nothing could be less so.” But then, I had to re-examine my use of the word and you (bless you) sent me to the dictionary to check the definition of “absurd,” and well, I suppose it is as it is “ridiculously unreasonable” and yet…does it really “[have] no rational or orderly relationship to human life?”
      In a sense I feel that it not have a more orderly relationship to human life, for what is a story without an end?
      This may have led to a whole other post–thank you once again.


    • Well, I shall have to send Karen a big thank you as you are the second person to find your way here from her place.

      I am glad to see you picked up on that as I almost did end it there, but there’s this thing about Rilke’s second Duino Elegy that was behind the writing of this and I couldn’t get it out of my head so it ended up in the writing as well.

      But there are always future drafts–I look at almost everything on this blog as a work in progress.

      Thanks so much for your words and for stopping by.


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