I think you would find it interesting--if you have not done so--to
read about the composition of the poem.  What was long seen as
its structure, based on a "mythic method" analogous to Eliot's
reading of Ulysses, really only appears in any "coherent" way in
section V.  That was written in one outpouring at Lauzanne when
he was being treated by Vittoz.  The other parts were written at
many different times over many years and "composed" into
something:  I agree that it is not into a unified voice or structure.
But it does have patterns.

On 2 Oct 2003, at 10:01, Richard Seddon
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Dear List

I just came across this quote in the Robert Creeley section of
"Understanding The Black Mountain Poets" by Edward Halsey Foster.
(page 110)

Concerning Creeley's book of poems, "Pieces", Foster says:

"The book coheres in much the same way as *Mabel: A Story*: things
are held together not by narrative structure but by one sensibility
expressing its multifold nature."  (Pound fans should note the word
'cohere' :>)  )

Several times in the past this list has discussed whether TWL has
structure.  The above quote addresses a single poetic entity without
narrative structure  Of course many do not even allow TWL one
sensibility but what is it about narrative structure that gives it its
preeminence in our recognition of a whole literary work?

To me TWL seems to have multiple sensibilities gathered as a
constellation around a set of related themes and it is the relationships
between the themes and the relationships between the sensibilities and
the relationships between the sensibilities and the themes and the
relationships between the relationships (ad-nauseam) that give the poem
it's unity.  It is a never ending twirl of ideas that somehow have
containment within themselves.  I am absolutely unsure as to how TSE
and his editor EP achieved this containment.

I would enjoy discussion upon TWL's cohesion or containment..

Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM