“You can't force it intellectually. You spoil the poem. You mess it up. When you've worked through to the real poetic level, the connections webbing together every single word are quite beyond intellectual arrangement. A computer couldn't do it. You've got not merely sound and sense to deal with but the histories of the words, cross-rhythms, the interrelation of all the meanings of the words—a complete microcosm. You never get it quite right, but if you get it almost right, it insulates itself in time. That's why real poems travel.” —-Robert Graves
The city as dreamer of its own history.
So many meanings lost in the layers.
Layer upon layer of the past, inarticulated but felt.
Dreams and ghosts of the past, bleeding one into the other.
Shades that clutch at the heart of the urban roamer, le flâneur, stopping him in his tracks.
“At streetcorners, before housefronts and shopfronts, in proximity to particular doorways, particular stretches of cobblestone, particular entrances to the catacombs, particular cafés and cabarets, he experiences an uncanny thickening and layering of phenomena, an effect of superimposition, in which remembered events or habitations show through the present time and place, which have suddenly become transparent, just as in film an image may bleed through one or more simultaneously perceptible, interarticulated images in multiple exposure. It is a dreamlike effect, with the moving imagery characteristically yielding, in the flâneur’s case, a “felt knowledge” that is not yet conceptual.”
–Howard Eiland, “Superimposition in Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project”
(This is a project that I have been ruminating over for a couple of years. I owe many thanks to Timothy Moss, fellow flâneur from the other side of the world, for the impetus to finally get this under way. I strongly encourage you to stroll amongst his truly phenomenal images here. His is the eye of “an intensely heightened kind of receptivity” and makes my eye look like mud.)
…voicing the hours.
…over on Poemtstry.
Do you stop and stare?
Do you pause in mid-step?
Do you find yourself caught,
unawares, your eye like a fly
in a web?
You’re in good company.
Well, it’s a neologism, for one thing. A new word to encompass the concepts of (poem+poet+poems+poets+poetry). Poetics and meta-poetics.
It is also the name of my new blog. A place to share, discuss and perhaps even argue (good-naturedly, of course) about what all these things mean to us.
It’s a work in progress. I’m still feeling my way around. Still figuring things out.
As of now, I will be posting once weekly at least to begin with, sharing quotes from poets and others about what these things mean or meant to them. I am attempting, as means of structuring things, to limit these quotes to only those that contain the words: A poem is…, A poem does…, Poems are…, Poems do…, A poet is…, A poet does…, Poets are…, Poets do…, Poetry is…, Poetry does…
Poemtstry is a way to try and put all of that into one word.
Trust me. It’s easier to read than [poe/m/t(s)try], which is how my brain sees it.
So if you care about poetry, you’ll head strait over to poemtstry.wordpress.com, and see what all the hubbub is about.