From: Jennifer Formichelli
I never said I was reading the poem without consideration for the
PM> Nor did I think to suggest you were. I just
don't see how you can keep the epigraph separate from
the poem and then bring it into your reading at the
JF>Quite the contrary; it is just that I see the epigraph in a particular,
allusive and metaphorical, relation to the poem it prefaces. I also
agree with the idea that the allusion is retrospective; i.e., it alters
one's comprehension of the source just as the epigraph affects (I still fail
to understand your use of the word 'infect'; surely I can become 'infected'
by a virus and yet maintain my autonomy from that virus;
PM>Well if you take it as literal the INFECTION/VIRUS does not
work. However, a McLUhan was wont to say, "A man's grasp
should exceed his reach, or what's a metaphor." For me the
epigraph is infused into the poem and suffuses it, so as to
affect the reading of the whole poem, and that affect (which
I metaphorically called an infect) stays, is part of the poem.
I don't particularly like my metaphor. Were pressures less,
I might think about it more. I don't intend the negative
connotations that INFECTION suggests.
JF>infections also clear up, whereas epigraphs do not) the poem.
PM>Some do. Some don't. HIV, MALARIA &c.
JF>That is because the attachment of an epigraph is a critical act.
Secondarily yes. Primarily it is a creative act.
Still, if the body retains its autonomy from the virus,
but the epigraph is ATTACHED, then it is part of the
autonomous being. The poem is not autonomous from the
epigraph. If the epigraph's meaning/feeling/sensation
suffuse the poem, then it is IN the poem.