Sunday, October 31, 2010

a note on being drawn by intrinsic appeals

Saturday, 10.30 — 9:44 pm

I want to exemplify how the generativity of our evolving through creative and empathic human development can have a philosophically tenable conceptuality.

I have a long way to go. But I don’t compromise political aspiration by wanting to focus on creative individuation as such, especially through literary psychology (upcoming months) and artistic work (which belongs to scientific discovery, too), because the possible humanisms of our humanity are highly exemplified by projects of conceptualizing possibility, which depends on creativity (which ultimately becomes a venture in comprehending its ownmost potential), even though the best (realistic, Appropriative) hope for inquiry might be just as an example voice in and for the kind of Conversation of humanity which belongs widely, deeply, and highly to us all.

Sunday, 10.31 — 2:57 pm

October has indeed been good.

When I thought this morning about William Carlos Williams, it was the first time in many years. Once upon a time, I was possessed with senses of urgency about the calling of poetry, in light of—well, so much during the ’70s, including full-bodied absorption of counter-cultural life, obsessions with the apparent linguistic relativity of any possible understanding of the world (which is ultimately beyond comprehension), and how romances of creative writing might enlighten my sense of life and world. So, in grad school, I lived between philosophy (the supposed reason I was in grad school) and the Creative Writing Program in Poetry, led by leading American poets in residence. The prevailing imagism of American rigors with ordinary language in the line enchanted me, but in tension with fundamental conceptual quandries.

I bought a lot of poetry and ate it. I remember none of it now. Perhaps it became part of me.

This morning, I was perplexed by the absence of Spring and All in my bibliography lists (a searchable database) of what’s in tens of boxes of books I have (a story worth telling sometime). But I haven’t made time to catalog it all! Many boxes are listed just generically, e.g., a couple listed as including “‘old’ poetry” (the quote marks referring to purchase history for relatively recent poetry). So, I intended to go through a couple of boxes, looking for Spring and All, partly because I just couldn’t believe I don’t have it. Luckily, the first box proved me right.

Gawd, the stuffy smell of agéd paperbacks. Gawd, the eros of memory seeing all that again. I know that a continued trek through so many boxes would so intoxicate me, I’d probably fail to appear for the job, calling in “sick” with unconfessed overdosing of nostalgia.

Before today’s little search, I went to The page for Williams’ Selected Poems (whose cover is a photo of the happy elder among blossoms) includes a nice quote (as prose, which I’ve made into verse). It’s from the “Introduction” to Wedge (1944), I discovered (and discovered that the quote contains an error, which I’ve corrected: ‘perception,’ not ‘purpose,’ though the mistake is interesting):

“It isn't what he [the poet] says that counts as a work of art, it's what he makes, with such intensity of perception that it lives with an intrinsic movement of its own to verify its authenticity.”

The complete “Introduction” is here.