quinta-feira, novembro 21, 2013

impermanência

 
Uma palavra boa, impermanência.
A frase de Heráclito, que não podemos tomar banho duas vezes no mesmo rio, talvez tenha vindo de Simlicius ou de Platão, como diz a Wikipedia.  Kamo no Chomei, filósofo japonês que viveu nos séculos XI/XII escreveu também sobre o mesmo "apesar da corrente do rio nunca cessar, a água que passa nunca é a mesma. Quando a corrente enche, a água borbulha à superfície, explode e desaparece e outras bolhas de água surgem no seu lugar.  Neste mundo, as pessoas e os seus lugares são assim, sempre em mudança." 
A propósito de se poder ou não dizer adeus duas vezes. Ouvir duas vez, é uma demais, é porque da primeira se tentou parar o rio. Antes a clareza da impermanência. Se não, é como a despedida da fotografia - tocante, mas um tudo nada exagerada.
 

sábado, novembro 09, 2013

ModPo "It isn't for want", Cid Corman and video discussion



Cid Corman, "It isn’t for want"

It isn’t for want
of something to say--
something to tell you--

something you should know--
but to detain you--
keep you from going--

feeling myself here
as long as you are--
as long as you are.

VIDEO DISCUSSION:
Al – So Cid Corman wrote thousands of poems, not all as good as this one, just he wrote like this a lot and I don’t think anybody really thinks of him in the Dickinson tradition but we want to give it a try. We don’t know what I It is, really, we don’t know what it is, but let’s give it a try. Isn’t for want for something to say, it isn’t for this, it isn’t for that. It. It isn’t for want of something to say. What’s it?
Ally - Well I don’t… I think It it’s always kind of a problem…
Al – …. right, right…
Ally - … hum
Al – Well, no, it isn’t, I mean…
Ally - Well…
Al – … yes…   in conventional non-poetic, non-modern, pre-modern, denotative speech, It refers to something that has been refers already. So the mug, I drank from the mug, excuse me,  It is It, it contains a lot of liquid, ok. So it in our world is always open and John Ashbery is going to make the most of these open pronouns, much later in the course, but anyway go ahead.
Ally - I mean here, I guess, it’s may be the purpose of what is he’s about to do…
Al – The whole thing, this whole thing, I think that’s probably right. Amaris?
Amaris – I think would speak to a need that everyone can universally feel that you can’t pinpoint, describe right down the…
Al – … the inevitable, the thing, the X, the thing that must happen, must be say, it… So whatever it is, isn’t done, or said, or acted out for want  of something to say. Want? What does that mean, Anna? You probably don’t use this word, is this way…
Anna – I guess it mean to say, that it isn’t for want of something to say means that it’s not because I don’t have anything to say…
Al – … ok, that´s not quite right I mean, want does mean desire, but what you elevated the question,  you don’t know this connotation, who knows this connotation?
Ally – Lack…
Al – Lack! We don’t say that very often anymore, it’s terrific use of word, and I’d challenge you all to out there and start using this word. A lack, it isn’t for want, are you wanting something? That doesn’t mean, it means you’re lacking something. It isn’t for lack of something to say, something to tell you, Max? What does this mean? Translate it…
Max- It’s not, it’s not that I am lacking something to tell you… I have things to tell you
Al – I do have things to tell you, right, it’s not for lack of something to say, I have something to tell you, I do have something I want to say, I do, but that’s not the point. It’s not for want of something to say….
Max – ….sure
Al – … it’s not for something to tell, lack of something to tell you or something you should know, now we, Kristen, move to something else.  It’s not, it’s not because I don’t have anything you should know. That’s, that’s a step up from something to say. What’s the decision between having something to say, having something to tell you and having something you should know, those are three different gradations….
Kristen – Well, having something to say, just , you know, it may be speech that doesn’t really matter, then having something to tell you  I have an urge to say something to you, it’s important…
Al - …tell, tell it all…
Kristen - … I tell, I have something that I need to get off my chest…
Al - … confess…
Kristien – …then something you should know makes it important to the listener as well, so not only do I have an urge to confess something to you, but you really need to hear it, because it’s important for…
Al – So in the first, the You, the reader, the listener, is somewhat less important, I’ve got something to say, it doesn’t matter, who’s receiving. The second, You becomes important, telling is isn’t telling, is telling to us, the reader, the listener and in the third…? What’s the relationship of you should know, between the I and the You, Emily?
Emily – I’m thinking, it’s, it’s just  a new type of urgency, a complete necessity to…
Al – Yes, but it presumes a relationship… what kind of relationship does it presume?
Emily – well, the, the speaker of the poem has something that the other person needs or wants, or thinks would help them…
Al – …needs… well not wants necessarily,  if you got to the history of the American south course, and you know nothing about the history of the American south, and the lecturer says that this is something you should know, it implies that the lecturer has something that he or she knows that you don’t, it implies that the lecturer is somebody and you aren’t yet, it implies that,  that person has something to say and you have a need to listen, should.  There’s a kind of finger way in there. But it’s not, but Cid is saying it’s not for that, it’s not, it’s not that I lack something to say or that I lack something to tell or something you should know I have, I may have all that but something else, Molly, what? But something else, But turns the poem.
Molly – But, he needs to say something to stop you from going or stop the reader from reader from reading…
Al – …detain. Translate that word….
Molly – …to stop, to keep somebody here….
Al – It’s a great word, detain, let’s, let’s play with it a little more….
Molly - Well it’s also is used in terms of, of like a prisoner….
Al – ….detain has, has about it an ancient mariner, I have a story to tell and grabs you by the lapels , or Ishmael  in the beginning of Moby Dick, I’ve got some story to tell you, I’m the kind of person who has to detain you, to keep you from going. Where would you go? Where would one go, Kristen?
Krysten – …to not be in the room with the poet or to not be…
Al – What’s the word…?
Krysten – -…not be present, not…
Al – …not be present…
Krysten – …not be present at all, maybe not exist anymore…
Al – So what is Cid so far saying about what he needs and what he wants?
Anna - He needs companionship, he needs someone to be with him, in his room…
Al - … he needs to detain you, I want to detain you to keep you from going, It’s not that I have something to say, though I do, it’s not that, it’s not that I,  I have, that there’s something you should know, although I think that’s  true, it’s not for those reasons, but just to keep you here. So we have a modern poem which has emptied out the urgency of content completely. What do we have left when you take content out? Somebody could say form, but that’s not quite it.
Anna – Just the feeling, the feeling, feeling myself here…
Al - …feeling…?
Anna - I think, well I think that’s the other, that’s the other important word, I mean It is the first important word and Here is the second…
Al – …yes…
Anna – …so Here I think could be Dickinson’s This or Whitman’s Now. We talked about  This…
Al – so what does that have to do, ok, if you’re going along fast as you usually, but what, what…  when you get rid of the content, it’s not because I have content to tell you, it’s not because I have story to tell you…
Anna –… it’s because I have a poem to write…
Al – you’re going too fast to the end… what…?
Anna – ….because that’s the meta, that’s where it is…
Al – …you’re absolutely right, but I don’t want to go just there so fast. What’s left when you get rid of content?  Emily, what’s left when there’s no story? Your mum has something to tell you, but it’s not, it turns out not to be not important, it turns out to be the weather, and you say Mum why did you make me come all the way home just to talk about the weather? That’s not what you have, no she says, I didn’t want to tell you, it’s not that I have something to tell you, it’s because I need you here
Emily – …just the presence of the listener…
Al – Presence. Presence of what?  In your case presence of the daughter, in the example I made up…
Emily – Presence of the relationship between me and my mother
Al – …ok and  here?
Emily – …and here between the poet and reader…
Al – Poet and reader. The relationship is poet and reader. So now Anna, what does Here mean?
Anna – …well when we thought about Dickinson’s for Occupation This…
Al – This referred to open-endedly….
Anna - …open like the writing of poetry…
Al – … to the thing we were reading…
Anna – …and Dwelling in the house of Possibility which I think we decided poetry…
Al – Well possibility is open-endedness is all content’s interpretations possible and when content is not that important …
Anna - …that’s what you have, you have….
Al –Who cares whether interpretation goes this way or that way!  Well, what we have is presence, the presence not just of the subject speaking, of the subject position, of the I of the speaker, of the narrator,  but  the required presence of You , of one ,of us, of readers. Here. Ok so here is hard, it’s tricky. Who wants to do Here, really spell it out, Amaris, what’s here?  Where are we?
Amaris – …in the space of the poem perhaps…
Al – In the space of the poem.  And space is a fancy word that a lot of fancy poetics people use to refer to the space the poem makes. What is this space the poem makes, its presence?
Amaris – New linguistic imagination or new mode of thought, of consciousness.
Al – All of that…
Amaris - …Whitman’s---of voice maybe…
Al – What about the words in the page, right?  I mean the, the involvement, the presence of You in it, this is all that Cid wants: it isn’t for want of something to say, something to tell you, something you should know, but to keep you here, to keep you in the poem, unfortunately the poem is going to end, Cid Corman is going to end, and what would be left of Cid Corman, he’s deceased, what would be left of him is This. Here.  Something you should know, but to detain you, to keep you from going, dear reader I need you here, this is why I write, so you can be here, feeling myself here.  Uh oh! He says myself, he doesn’t say, reader, feeling you here, he says feeling myself here, have we misread this and misinterpreted, Kristen?
Krysten – Well, you can kind of take it like to be that the You in this poem is kind of like the You in Niedecker’s poem or it ends of being actually Me, so he may be talking about oneness, being with himself…
Al – So the, so the, our reader’s, our interpretation of this as the reader is wrong…?
Molly - No, I think…
Al -Go ahead Molly…
Molly - I think we were right the first time because if we continue with the next line he’s feeling here is dependent…
Al – … as long as you are. So I, the writer can only be here, he’s dead, Cid is dead, there is no Cid,  I am only here, I am only in this poem if you are, If you…  no one, this is the , you know,  tree falling in the forest, if no one is reading the poem , then Cid is no longer present. So long as you are, so long as you are. So long as you exist, so long as you are you, so long as you are… a subject, and this a subject-subject relationship, not a subject-object relationship, an inter animation…
Anna – That’s why he needs repeat these last two lines, because you, by…
Al – First he emphasizes selfhood then he emphasizes…
Anna – …the You, than he emphasizes the presence…
Al – First selfhood and then presence, first selfhood and then existence. His existence is contingent on our existence…
Anna – …and you couldn’t get that same emphasis if you only had that same line once, I don’t think. Even with… I think he needed that twice…
Al – So I find this as an evocation of the importance of the reader and a lesson of the importance of content very moving and it’s hard to imagine such a slight existentialist self-referential poem being emotional and moving, but… is anybody, if anybody’s is with me would you like to take a minute at end here to say why, Amaris? What moving about it?
Amaris – I’m very moved because the emphasis is on the encounter and,  I mean,  if we take it briefly out of the meta aspects that we just discussed,  it’s just, it seems to be seeking to  a very simple longing for human connection and being together,  in a sort of intuitive understanding, and so , you  know, you can be with people  and still can feel completely alone but here he’s talking about a true concentrated presence between poet and reader which is the encounter in the space of connection of the poem…
Emily – …yeah, and I think, as readers most, most people I know who enjoy reading  they’re in sense, they read in the same way of  William Carlos Williams “Smells”,   is not to learn anything particular, it’s just to have experience where experience is available. And by that notion, content is to some extent reducible or dispensable and that is really is just the moment of reading and interacting with a person who is physically not there, which you take away and you keep I suppose…
Al – So the purpose of art here, is not to express the self, this is not self- expression, this is going to be very important in the post-modern poetry that we study at the end of our course. Self-expression in this case, it, it’s there, but it’s not important, what’s important is connection of meaning maker and receiver and then the response back.  So as I said before not subject-object, I am You aren’t, I know you don’t, I have you want, I speak you listen. But subject to subject connection. I exist because you exist, I am present in the writing because you are with me here and without you I ‘m nothing.  So in the end, when Cid Corman feels himself here it implies a You. I think, although Dickinson’s version of this is really very complicated, because she didn’t have really an audience and she didn’t, she’s very anxious about publishing, nonetheless her feeling herself there was predicated on some kind of view, sometimes an imaginary lover, sometimes a hope for a lover, sometimes a God, sometimes a reader. In this case, Corman is, has a much more obvious social impulse, but in the end, the, the language-self depends on the existence of someone to receive the message, and it’s not the message that’s important, it’s the fact of needing to detain someone,  another human for content. 


MESOSTIC (without writing through)


Are you there? 
After Cid Corman's "It isn't for want" and the video discussion 
of Al Filreis with the students.

      
       cormAn,
         foR
        somEthing 
         saY--
          sOmething
          bUt 
           To
           Here
         arE--
         coRman
         poEms, 
         it?
 
            Ally
           pRoblem...
           wEll, 
         allY
           cOnventional
           mUg, 
            The
          joHn
         makE
           pRonouns,
           hE 
      amaris?
 
            Amaris
         eveRyone
           fEel 
            You
        pinpOint,
           mUst 
           iT...
            Have
        quitE
            Right
           mEan, 
 connotation?
 
            Ally
          veRy
         oftEn 
            You
           tO  
            Using 
            This
            Have
           tEll
            Right,
         somEthing 
    third...?
 
           whAt's
            uRgency,
        complEte 
             You
            gOt
         lectUrer       
             That
            sHould
        impliEs
            oR
           shE
         what?