Sunday, March 15, 2009
reading at Furtherance by J H Prynne (The Figures). I say reading at because I have not read thru, which I do not usually do anyway with poetry books. it is a collection of 4 tiny publications (the whole is slightly more than 100pp). well, I just want to say that it is quite lovely. Prynne tickled my interest because of an Olsonian connection, I think (hazily) that Olson bespoke Prynne. what ev, Allen: what of the POETRY? ok, given the critical standards of the day, I might asseverate that Prynne totally rocks, using ESPECIALLY emphatic italics there. there is something post-Olson about Prynne, where the methodological study of Olson has been transformed into a capable and common usage. by which I mean Olson's self-conscious quest has been transformed into a general tool. reading these poems, I think of the 3rd Maximus volume, where Olson returns to a more straightforward narrative and even a lyrical integer. there is a LANGUAGEy sort of intuition in Prynne, but free of the self-referential inscape of academic promulgation. I mean, isn't there a touch of conscious academic outreach in the LANGUAGE parlance? as I entered the LANGUAGE realm, in discovery mode, I was dismayed by the clanking vocabulary of the critical matter. I got the loopy satire of, say, Bruce Andrews, and appreciated the cogency of Silliman and Susan Howe, and I trusted, having some 1st hand experience (hoka hey! I am Facebooked among former Franconians (Franconia College, just to be clear), tho Grenier is not as yet among that number), Grenier's wired interest. but beyond some few, I discerned in LANGcrit a rattled academic barf of big words meant to look big, and fit the academy's need. which I did not see in Olson, tho he talked over my head so often. Prynne pragmatically takes a LANGUAGE sort of involvement, and an intellectual embrace, and presses that verbal activity into a diurnal sort of squeeze of process and margin. please nod if you catch my drift. I am also confronted with how English in the UK sounds different from that of the American states, as furthermore does the poetry of Canada sound in slightly different, slightly unfamiliar, tones. vive la difference, fer sure, tho I might struggle with unfamiliarity.