Monday, August 09, 2004

"A Cento from Southey"

Perils which threaten'd still, and arduous toil
Of clamorous joy re-ring: the rocks and hills
Relapsing now, and now again unclosed.
For peace is with the dead, and piety
Perverts the ordinance of God, and makes
The full orb'd moon, that beam'd around
Composed like one who sleeps with open eyes.

08 08 04

Why should the forms be privileged, that trigger a response of thing-recognition? Fleeting resemblances & partial illusions of depth accompany almost any well-tempered abstract image; ditto the penumbra of near-coherence for almost any nonlinear arrangement of words. And the need for metanarrative is met by fitting each work into a sequence of prior works that it happens to suggest. So i conclude in the end the only necessity for a mode called "realism", derives from the political will to maintain a monopoly on truthful art. Langpo, even at its most extreme, is no more unintelligible than the stylizations of ballet.


By kiss of death, bullet on brow,
No more life can overpower
That first infatuation, world cannot
Ever be harder or clearer or come
Closer than when it arrived there

Spinning its patched fields, churches
Trees where nightingales sang in broad daylight
And the vast flaring blue skirts of seas--
Then sudden insubordination
Of boredom and sleep

When the eyes could not find their keys
Or the neck remember what mother whispered
Or the body stand to its word.

Desertion in the face of a bullet!

Burial without honors."

--Ted Hughes

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