September 26, 2014

An image or its apparition

An image
Or the apparition
Just after.
(Apologies to Wallace Stevens.)

The word apparition reminds me of Impressionist paintings, which to me capture the image seen not exactly as they are but like it would be remembered by the mind of the eye if it took a quick glance (a glance is always quick, I suppose... pardon the tautology) and then looked away and tried to capture via paint that which was seen. But it isn't exactly what was seen. .how can it be. ..not the image itself but an apparition.a reflection of what was seen. In fact i have come to see many Impressionist paintings as that which you would see as a reflection in water...the clouds and trees in Monet or Renoir painting look like .they all look in reflections in a lake or river. 

Claude Monet - La Grenouillere

Renoir - La Grenouillere

I recall that Ashbery's Self Portait in a Convex Mirror delves into the self and the image of the self but that is a whole other world of exploration that goes into philosophy also... but I will limit myself to the Imagists and the Impressionists for now. Both capture an image. .a moment. ..but it isn't the present. .it is a presence that lingers in the mind. Recollections of a past remembered. Proustian nostalgia for a moment passed.
Next week in ModPo, it time to meet Gertrude Stein and Picasso and view poetry through the Cubists mode of thinking  (though we already kinda met the Cubists (Juan Gris) with Williams' The Rose is Obsolete and this insightful post about that poem.

September 7, 2014

Ye untold latencies

This blog has been latent. Dormant. Like a volcano. And today, I've been inspired to jump-start it again.

I'm taking ModPo, the course on Modern & Contemporary American Poetry, offered via the Coursera platform by University of Penn's Professor Al Filreis. I took the course last Fall and enjoyed it a lot. I've waxed eloquently about its many delights often - though not on this blog - but thought that this time I would participate more in the course forums and discuss the poetry more and even post sometimes on this blog. I think I might be able to make time for this despite a busier work schedule this year since I do not intend to be spending time this year on completing assignments and quizzes in the course, having done all that was necessary and received a "Statement of Accomplishment" to denote that I had successfully completed the course. 

After having spent the better part of my time online last evening and this morning with Emily Dickinson's poem, Volcanoes be in Silicy, since Sunday evening has sneaked in and before the week and its many frustrations come in due time, I better spend some time with Walt Whitman, whose all-encompassing openness and big-heartedness was something I took to right away the first time I read parts of Song of Myself (this was before ModPo but ModPo 2013 enhanced the reading and also took me to sections I had not read before.)

There were more doors than windows in that House of Possibility in Amherst but evenso, if those doors aren't open, there is a sort of constraint, an imprisonment (even with the sky as gambrels of the roof, which allow us to take flights of fancy while still being "trapped" inside one's own self.) 
But no... Walt says...shut not those doors (and windows)...throw them open..let the blab of the pave and the sounds of the outside world flood in. Go out and wander.. reach out to the world... "A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms" ...."The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides; The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun." (Quoted lines from Song of Myself, by Whitman.)

And so on..he sings...he celebrates life - his, yours, mine, all of us - for he contains multitudes!
"The words of my book nothing—the drift of it everything; A book separate, not link’d with the rest, nor felt by the intellect, But you, ye untold latencies, will thrill to every page..."- Walt Whitman in Shut Not Your DoorsLeaves of Grass, 1900

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