Site Meter

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


A Zen puzzler for you. In addition to the Clark and Price titles noted two posts down, Carcanet have brought out A Century of Poetry Review, a celebratory volume edited by current editor Fiona Sampson. As is well known, Poetry Review has known its share of spin-cycle lurchings now in this direction, now in that, dawdling along for thirty-five years (until 1947) under the shamelessly middlebrow Galloway Kyle, then cutting up rough in the much-mythologized lustrum of Eric Mottram’s tenure, from 1972 to 1977, and so on and so on. But my point is this. Adverting to the self-imposed exile from ‘page poetry’ of a second generation of performance poets, heirs to Linton Kwesi Johnson, Grace Nichols and Benjamin Zepheniah, Sampson comments: ‘While the Review records this shift too, it must often do so by omissions and silences.’ In what sense can we record something ‘by omissions and silences’? Examples, anyone?

Apologies for all the typos in this morning’s posts, by the way. Now fixed.


John Latta said...

There is, of course, the example of loudmouth Ron “I Cover the Waterfront” Silliman’s highly
“tactical” silences, noises unreport’d that he attempts to cover by endless adverts to “quietude.”

Haiku Time! said...

Bakery arson:
A thousand pieces of toast.
A silver lining.

John Cage, that's right, THE John Cage said...

I'd put forward my brilliant composition 4'33" as an example, but as any background noise is technically part of the performance, would it still count?

Mark Granier said...

My needling pen
prods, punctures the meniscus
of the third line, when

Monsieur Boulanger said...

Not poetry, but Dave Eggers's short story 'There Are Some Things He Should Keep to Himself' is, I suppose, a literary display of absence, being just five or so blank pages.

By 'I suppose' mean it's not, of course; it's a dick head moment. His work is filled with them.

Mark Granier said...

Less dick-headish than most, James Wright's:

'In Memory of the Horse David, Who Ate One of My Poems'

Mike Giggler said...

Q: What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog seller?
A: Make me one with everything.