Monday, February 9, 2009

Not @ AWP: Day 1

AWP starts this week. I have several friends who will all be in Chicago for it. I will not be there. This is preemptive live blogging of N@AWP -- Day 1.

Day 1:

10:45 AM --

Thinking about things. Last night after an interesting metaphysical discussion with my roommate about narcissism and communication and signifier/signified, I had this thought about poetry:

Poetry is an imagined successful conversation (perfect conveyance of ideas) to "the Other" -- a subversion of signifier/signified (a conversation where only signifiers are required) -- only the carapace or skeleton of which (the written poem on the page) is shared with the reader. As such, it could be in the same "spectrum of language" as prayer.

1 comment:

Mo said...

So poetry&prayer are bros now?

I really like the notion of the poem as carapace, and I'd like to insert that the other half of that coin is the reader filling the carapace (poem) with life (meaning, connotation, symbol etc.)

And while I like what you're saying, I think the last line is exactly what someone like Dale Smith is afraid of: language being stripped of any signified meaning whatsoever, as if language becomes a prayer that is completely between you and a (fictional) higher power. At that point wouldn't the poem become completely self-indulgent? And I don't think that's what you are rallying for. I would put poetry that people write in a journal and never show anyone in that category of prayer maybe. I don't know... it's not very clear to me what you were getting at.

I think your first sentence best represents how poetry engages an audience/community: "Poetry is an imagined successful conversation (perfect conveyance of ideas) to "the Other." And how it can still be a model for social change/responsibility. We are constantly reacting to social stimulus through our writing.

Great post. Keep it up.