Saturday, April 10, 2010

With And Without Eloquence

“Catch the eloquence and wring its neck” – an injunction and a rhetoric filter borrowed from Paul Verlaine’s poem  “Poetic Art”, a poem which follows me, day in and day out, in the cadence of my footfalls.

As if eloquence would be some small beast, dark gray and evasive, a bat of words that would dissolve under the cloak of the night. 

I would propose that poetry born in the absence of eloquence is a poetry of archaic rhythms, which projects us into a world full of the brutality of the archetypes, fundamentally represented through repetitions, contrasting images, geometric effects, improvisations and broken tempo's.

Some sort of primitive art, similar to the masks from Papua New Guinea, Minoan linear A and B writing or Aztec decorations. And, in terms of cultural experiences, as intriguing as these are.

In a pure Procrustes’ bed vein, I’ve searched for substantiating evidence on the internet, to support the view point noted above.

Here is a fragment from Jack Kerouac’s  Bowery Blues:

"I am hurt
I am scared
I want to live
I want to die
I don't know
Where to turn
In the Void
And when
To cut
Out."

A fragment from Jacques Prevert’s poem “Sables Mouvantes” (Quick sands):

"In the distance the sea has receded
and
like an algae slowly caressed by the wind
you move, in sands of the bed, dreaming. "

Finally a quote from a poem by Umberto Saba translated into English by Katherine Johnson

"My spade
bangs against stones in the underbrush. I must
excavate far down. Like someone searching for treasure."

4 comments:

Wine and Words said...

"a poem which follows me, day in and day out, in the cadence of my footfalls". There are many of these for me, all found here in blogdom! Imagine that! Thank you for stopping by my place. It is a pleasure to have you. Welcome back, as you please, for new friendships are always in the air come spring.

robert said...

I'm a little confused. You've said that "poetry born in the absence of eloquence is a poetry of archaic rhythms (...) and broken tempo's".
Maybe you're right! But I believe it has a deeper understanding.

nothingprofound said...

"Catch the eloquence and wring its neck"-strange dictum from a poet whose work is the very definition of eloquence. As for me, I look for the eloquent and elegant wherever I can find it.

Genevieve said...

Touch me with words is all I ask of any writer.

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