Resplendant Reflections/Roving Revistas

[ jueves, julio 10, 2003 ]

Edward Foster...

"The critic, discussing the poem and not invoking it, loses the key,
and the critical work becomes discourse, weavings of conjecture.

The key itself is never lost."

...and he also says,

"...the critic is driven by memory, that which recedes."

I desperately want to mourn my disheveled memory, unraveling with the stresses of not writing poetry myself these days and playing second fiddle to my beloved students' search for meaning amongst the shards of civilization on our miserable little corner of earth. I won't.

Conjure. How is it that language can trick you, make you feel, sometimes even without exactly understanding why--or how? As when the conjurer pulls a penny from your ear...

Jackets, motorcycles, all kinds of jackets, a boy, the word "boy," a parallel boy, two in/for one.

Alchemy subverted by reminiscence, he says, sold to pallid analogy, poor relation to all that magic steam of word, knowing in both the sagacious and in the Biblical sense, passion as in anger divine, divining again and criticism once more and poetry when No one listens to poetry, Jack Spicer says. (AAASA)

Praisesong: in the exposed brick vault of the Hoboken Historical Society, Foster, in blue jeans and t-shirt surprises me with his burst of--what? passion ? (yes) anger? (yes) arc of intelligence (awed, not surprised, by this muscle behind the work), its surprises? (yes, yes, yes.)


Egyptian angles....

....Their steps

are golden, and I count them as I count
the clocks along the way where sphinxes walked
and dust collected in an angle of the sun --
it freshens me --
and, oh, I long for crocodiles, the ancient gods,
and temples in a final light.
(Marianne Moore in Egypt
for Alice Notley)

Like ashes

we become

our whirlwind in the sky.
(Watch Hill)

TBC (To be continued--oh yes!)

(btw: © Copywrites for all work revert to its appropriate author. Period.)

avapvfopuli [2:23 a. m.]

[ martes, julio 08, 2003 ]

I shall return...

Entonces, estoy eschuchando a la musica lo que un de mis estudiantes me daba--I am listening to a CD one of my students gave me to accompany a paper he wrote about the African influences on Merengue--

I wish my Spanish were as good as the music. Ah, well. I teach literature and cultural studies to budding engineers and computer scientists; and when they suddenly wake up, the light goes on, and they break out, I never know whether to cheer or to burst into tears! In this case, I prance about the room like the mythological one-legged sailor who invented this dance, wriggle my poor ageing behind and grin like an idiot, a little moist around the lids.

What kind of challenge, my colleagues sometimes ask, do I get from teaching students who aren't devoted to my subject, who don't challenge me with their brilliant interpretations of the latest lit-crit theories, their discursive acuities? Well. The snooty, oneuppersonship, the stench of privilege--real or imagined--is not there. I am challenged by their innocence, their unknowing, their lack of pretense, their desire to have their elders tell them, you are wonderful! just fine! --their maddening literalism, sometimes; their desire to lead the unexamined life--sometimes; their vulnerability to easy answers--too many times; their search for sense, meaning, love, in spite of all odds. They are NOT robots.

So what did my student, Victor Acosta, give me, other than a paper and a CD? Ahh, he gave me a lovely gift to give to a teacher: he gave me joy.

Muchissima gracias, Victor!

avapvfopuli [12:40 a. m.]