Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This poem can be diagrammed

Several interesting things at We Who Are About to Die


1) Dara Wier's response to the question "What do we mean when we say a poem is a machine?"


This poem can be diagrammed, Wier writes, a mechanical drawing of this poem can be realized. It can reproduce what it makes up. It can reproduce itself, it can be reproduced in another location but in general it will still be quintessentially itself.
Wier seems to say that a mechanically active poem has a sort of well-made quality, is possessed of a neoclassical economy that enables a reader assembling such a poem in her mind to end up with a fair reproduction of what might be assembled in any reader's mind. Is this a contemporary riff on Eliot's objective correlative? Is the modernist preoccupation with mechanism substantively different from our own? Perhaps it's better to ask why we keep comparing poems to machines.


2) We in the oonaverse are fascinated by all kinds of hybridity--& critiques of hybridity. For the latter, see Daniel Nestor's prepositionally multivalent response to the term "lyric essay." Although we might disagree with proposition 13 ("There is this idea that lyric essay is a genre. It is not. It is a form." If only it were that easy to use the word "lyric" correctly. ), we entirely approve critiques of lyric as a catch-all term.  


Errata: 


1) The redoubtable Kelli Anne Noftle links to our enthusiastic collaborative review of I Was There for Your Somniloquy at her tumblr. Many thanks! 


2) We rediscover the wonders of Terri Timely's Synaesthesia: