Summation

“What began as a healthy reaction, a turning away with relief from sterile academic rhetorics, had proliferated in an unexampled production of notations: poems which tell of things seen or done, but which, lacking the focus of that energetic, compassionate, questioning spirit that infused even the most fragmentary of Williams’s poems, do not impart a sense of the experience of seeing or doing, or of the value of such experience.”

                               –Denise Levertov, “Great Possessions” (1970)

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2 thoughts on “Summation

  1. You want a record, a notation of something/ Someone ? Take a picture.
    You want to preserve the very essence of one person/incident ?
    Write a poem.
    But how many pictures are left untaken ?
    How many bad poems are written ?

    • Unfortunately, that sentence is missing in the version of “Great Possessions” New Directions published. Much poetry suffers from lack of transformative investment.

      Nathan

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