unhinged The point of a poem is to become wordless, to find
the rounding out that assimilates reductiveness and
assertion to an unspeadable whole: the end of a poem
is to reconstruct silence, a cure of words, to subvert
the fragmentary, discursive, partial, definitional

into stance and feeling: when the stance of a poem becomes
whole and still, its motions are like travels of light
and surface through the aspects of a piece of sculpture:
reconciles, ends, and holds its motions: its images

lose their sharp edges and colors into the tones and
moods of landscape, into the inexhaustible suggestiveness
of impressionism: the end of a poem is to lose itself
in itself, to give over the partialities of rhythm,
image, and sense to coherences words can give no access

to and have no access to, a place where the distinction
between meaning and beign is erased into the meaning of
being: what a poem says may be its least and most
misleading ploy: how it holds its behavior opens the poem
up to indefinableness and inexhaustibility, ontology

and teleology become one, to the focused opint where in
mulling over and meditating on the poem we can sort
out its behavior and ours adn define for ourselves what
we like and don't and return our definitions to criticism
and instruction, idling, and waking nonchalance.

~a.r. ammons

i think god's poem does that quite well
oldephebe brilliant unhinged..i can't believe it took me this long to click on this..i'd actually over looked it..sage..sage words from his eminenece are things going? well i hope.
Doar I concur.

unhinged yes, this was one of many poems that made ammons the grandfather of everything poetic for me. i chuckle everytime i read this and think of my civil disobedience with my english teacher.

life is overwhelming. but right now i am in ohio. and it feels like i never left. and i don't want to go back to wisconsin ever. blah.

wisconsin sucks.
unhinged Fine and dandy: but so far as I am concerned, poetry and every other art was and is and forever will be strictly and distinctly a question of individuality. If poetry were anything --- like dropping an atombomb --- which anyone did, anyone could become a poet merely by doing the necessary anything; whatever that anything might or might not entail. But (as it happens) poetry is being, not doing. If you wish to follow, even at a distance, the poet's calling (and here, as always, I speak from my own totally biased and entirely personal point of view) you've got to come out of the measurable doing universe into the immeasurable house of being. I am quite aware that, wherever our socalled civilization has slithered, there's every reward and no punishment for unbeing. But if poetry is your goal, you've got to forget all about punishments and all about rewards and all about selfstyled obligations and duties and responsibilities etcetera ad infinitum and remember one thing only: that it's you ---nobody else--- who determine your destiny and decide your fate. Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else. Toms can be Dicks and Dicks can be Harrys, but none of them can ever be you. There's the artist's responsibility; and the most awful responisibility on earth. If you can take it, take it --- and be. If you can't, cheer up and go about other people's business; and do (or undo) till you drop.'

-- ee_cummings

ee_cummings ; initials are generally my favorite
unhinged ARS POETICA?

I have always aspired to a more spacious form
that would be free from the claims of poetry and prose
and would let us understand each other without exposing
the author or reader to sublime agonies.

In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent:
a thing is brought forth which we didn't know we had in us,
so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out
and stood in the light, lashing his tail.

That's why poetry is rightly said to be dictated by a daimonion,
though it's an exaggeration to maintain that he must be an angel.
It's hard to guess where that pride of poets comes from,
when so often they're put to shame by the disclosure of their frailty.

What reasonable man would like to be a city of demons,
who behave as if they were at home, speak in tongues,
and who, not satisfied with stealing his lips or hand,
work at changing his destiny for their convenience?

It's true that what is morbid is highly valued today,
and so you may think that I am only joking
or that I've devised just one more means
of praising Art with the help of irony.

There was a time when only wise books were read,
helping us to bear our pain and misery.
This, after all, is not quite the same
as leafing through a thousand works fresh from psychiatric clinics.

And yet the world is different from what it seems to be
and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings.
People therefore preserve silent integrity,
thus earning the respect of their relatives and neighbors.

The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

What I'm saying here is not, I agree, poetry,
as poems should be written rarely and reluctantly,
under unbearable duress and only with the hope
that good spirits, not evil ones, choose us for their instrument.

berkeley, 1968
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