"Rockpile" is then metonymically recalled in the following sentence in �mineral water," while the self-conscious attention to usually rote actions, sipping and smoking, refers back to "Hands writing." Not much later our rockpile sentence becomes recontextualized even further by "One sees seams," which refers in part to the reader's perception of Silliman's writing process itself-the deliberate focusing of attention on the contextualizing process of writing-the rockpile now becoming a trope for the pile of sentences which is Tjanting, out of which, despite superficial appearances, meaning coheres and accretes.
Coming right after "Hands writing," however, this sentence seems to demand to be encapsulated between quotation marks, to be presented as an example of what hands write rather than as a direct statement to be taken at face value.
What looksnatural about a given poem is actually the result of a number ofprocedures and assumptions about writing that the author may be more orless conscious of when composing.
As poet Steve Benson has put it, thesewriters "markedly propose conscious value to what could other-wise betaken as impingements in a literature of autonomous display" (, p.
Languagewriting is often posed as an attempt to draw the reader into theproduction process by leaving the connections between various elementsopen, thus allowing the reader to produce the connections between thoseelements.
Some foreign Writers, some our own despise;
The Ancients only, or the Moderns prize:
(Thus Wit, like Faith by each Man is apply'd
To one small Sect, and All are damn'd beside.)
Meanly they seek the Blessing to confine,
And force that Sun but on a Part to Shine;
Which not alone the Southern Wit sublimes,
But ripens Spirits in cold Northern Climes;
Which from the first has shone on Ages past,
Enlights the present, and shall warm the last:
(Tho' each may feel Increases and Decays,
And see now clearer and now darker Days)
Regard not then if Wit be Old or New,
But blame the False, and value still the True.
" The answer is not, however, to give up on language and meaning-why write if such were the case?-but to put forward a writing of self-conscious production that recognizes the arbitrary but necessary choices behind what we determine as "truth." Charles Bernstein is one contemporary poet to benefit from Ashbery's "swerve" from Stevens and Whitman (if it is a swerve---one could possibly argue for a disruption of ruminative continuity even in parts of their work.) Andrews's discussion of , for instance, applies equally well to many poems in Bernstein's (1980).
But most by Numbers judge a Poet's Song,
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong;
In the bright Muse tho' thousand Charms conspire,
Her Voice is all these tuneful Fools admire,
Who haunt Parnassus but to please their Ear,
Not mend their Minds; as some to Church repair,
Not for the Doctrine, but the Musick there.
These Equal Syllables alone require,
Tho' oft the Ear the open Vowels tire,
While Expletives their feeble Aid do join,
And ten low Words oft creep in one dull Line,
While they ring round the same unvary'd Chimes,
With sure Returns of still expected Rhymes.
Where-e'er you find the cooling Western Breeze,
In the next Line, it whispers thro' the Trees;
If Chrystal Streams with pleasing Murmurs creep,
The Reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with Sleep.
Then, at the last, and only Couplet fraught
With some unmeaning Thing they call a Thought,
A needless Alexandrine ends the Song,
That like a wounded Snake, drags its slow length along.
Leave such to tune their own dull Rhimes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly slow;
And praise the Easie Vigor of a Line,
Where Denham's Strength, and Waller's Sweetness join.
True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance,
'Tis not enough no Harshness gives Offence,
The Sound must seem an Eccho to the Sense.
Soft is the Strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth Stream in smoother Numbers flows;
But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore,
The hoarse, rough Verse shou'd like the Torrent roar.
When Ajax strives, some Rocks' vast Weight to throw,
The Line too labours, and the Words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain,
Flies o'er th'unbending Corn, and skims along the Main.
Hear how Timotheus' vary'd Lays surprize,
And bid Alternate Passions fall and rise!
While, at each Change, the Son of Lybian Jove
Now burns with Glory, and then melts with Love;
Now his fierce Eyes with sparkling Fury glow;
Now Sighs steal out, and Tears begin to flow:
Persians and Greeks like Turns of Nature found,
And the World's Victor stood subdu'd by Sound!
The Pow'rs of Musick all our Hearts allow;
And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now.
This is a rather subtle contrast, which is why one should pay close attention to Emerson's language throughout the essay.')" class="popup">The writer wonders what the coachmanor the hunter values in riding, in horses, and dogs.
For more on this, read Emerson's " self-reliance."')"="" class="popup">I tumble down again soon into my old nooks, and lead the life of exaggerations as before, and have lost some faith in the possibility of any guide who can lead me thither where I would be. But leaving these victims of vanity, letus, with new hope, observe how nature, by worthier impulses, has ensuredthe poet's fidelity to his office of announcement and affirming, namely,by the beauty of things, which becomes a new, and higher beauty, when expressed.
Some ne'er advance a Judgment of their own,
But catch the spreading Notion of the Town;
They reason and conclude by Precedent,
And own stale Nonsense which they ne'er invent.
Some judge of Authors' Names, not Works, and then
Nor praise nor blame the Writings, but the Men.
Of all this Servile Herd the worst is He
That in proud Dulness joins with Quality,
A constant Critick at the Great-man's Board,
To fetch and carry Nonsense for my Lord.
What woful stuff this Madrigal wou'd be,
To some starv'd Hackny Sonneteer, or me?
But let a Lord once own the happy Lines,
How the Wit brightens! How the Style refines!
Before his sacred Name flies ev'ry Fault,
And each exalted Stanza teems with Thought!