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Wish I'd written it, but sadly not so !

It was a minor but talented 20th century English poet. and is significant
because it represents one of his few surviving reflections on the form and
structure of his poetry.

An Equally-talented journalist's past article on the guy is attached for
further possible info






On 14 August 2013 15:01, [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Good poem.  Well done.  Far far better than the daily poems. Precise but
> not pedantic.
>
> I also like the idea that I know little or nothing of the poet's life.  I
> know others on this list disagree with me and I understand how a study of
> the life illuminates  --  I freely admit Ellman (sp?) put Ulysses in
> context far better than Gilbert  --  but in terms of public outreach I
> believe the first test is lyric quality.
>
> Again, well done.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Aug 14, 2013, at 9:28 AM, David Boyd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I would make a poem
> Precise as a pair of scissors, keen,
> Cold and asymmetrical, the blades
> Meeting like steel lovers to define
> The clean shape of the image.
>
> I would make a poem
> Organic as an orchid, red
> Flowers condensed from dew, with every lobe
> Fitted like a female to receive
> The bee’s fathering head.
>
> I would make a poem
> Solid as a stone, a thing
> You can take up, turn, examine and put down;
> Bred of the accident of rain and river,
> Yet in its build as certain as a circle,
> An axiom of itself.
>
> (A poet on a poem)
>
>
> On 14 August 2013 03:30, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> I always start my poetry class with a fascinating illustration of this
>> problem. In 1965 Kenneth Buthlay wrote to the *TLS* that Hugh
>> MacDiarmid's poem "Perfect" was the great imagist poem that none of the
>> Imagists wrote. someone responded that the real problem was that it was not
>> a poem and MacDiarmid did not write it. Then the writer added a paragraph
>> from a Welsh story that was almost exactly the same but not in line cuts.
>> The changes in the lines themselves are minimal, but there is now a title,
>> an epigraph in Spanish, line cuts, and a few but essential word changes. We
>> probably would call it a "found poem." But it started a long set of
>> exchanges about plagiarism (ironically never evoked by all Eliot's
>> borrowings) and what is really poetry. It went on for weeks.
>>
>> So I give both versions to students to decide if it is poetry and if
>> MacDiarmid wrote it. I don't care which they decide, only what criteria and
>> arguments they offer. MacDiarmid himself absolutely denied borrowing, and
>> since he was a voracious reader of anything and everything he could get his
>> hands on, he may well have just internalized the main passage. Regardless,
>> it is a fascinating example of the difficulty of both defining "poetry" and
>> evaluating "authorship."
>>
>>
>> **** **
>>
>>
>> Perfect
>>
>> ** **
>>
>>                                                 *On the Western Seaboard
>> of South Uist        *
>>
>>                                            *(Los muertos abren los ojos
>> a los que viven)*
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> I found a pigeon?s skull on the machair,
>>
>> All the bones pure white and dry, and chalky,
>>
>> But perfect,
>>
>> Without a crack or a flaw anywhere.
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> At the back, rising out of the beak,
>>
>> Were twin domes like bubbles of thin bone,
>>
>> Almost transparent, where the brain had been
>>
>> That fixed the tilt of the wings.
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> machair: low-lying beach (Gaelic)
>>
>> The Spanish epigraph means ?The dead open the eyes of those who live.?
>>
>> ** **
>>
>> From ?Porth-y-rhyd,? a short story by Glyn Jones
>>
>> ** **
>> Tudor held her wrist, wet, and cold as iron, and drew her to the window,
>> and on her palm lay the small frail skull of a seagull, white, and complete
>> as a pebble.  It was lovely, all the bones pure white and dry and
>> chalky, but perfect without a crack or a flaw anywhere.  At the back,
>> rising out of the beak were twin bubbles of thin bone, almost transparent,
>> where the brain had been that fixed the tilt of the wings, with the contour
>> of the delicate sutures inked in a crinkled line across the skull, and
>> where the brow-bone sloped down into the beak were two dark holes like
>> goggles where the eyes had shown out of the feathers. . . .
>>
>>
>> Nancy
>>
>> >>> Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> 08/13/13 7:14 PM >>>
>> You are probably right. I share with most literary scholars an urge to
>> classify -- an urge constantly undermined by an equal urge to justify the
>> classifying theoretically. Line cuts (and WCW is certainly the classical
>> instance here) do distinguish a pretty large body of texts from another
>> large body of texts. But the exception of "prose poems" sadly diminishes
>> the
>> elegance of the distinction.
>>
>> Letting my fingers think here. The _label_ "prose poem" violates harshly
>> what one might call the "ordinary" (non-technical) sense of the two
>> words:
>> it''s an oxymoron. Now, do all prose poems somehow or other let it be
>> known
>> that they are prose poems, not asomd prose note? If they appear in
>> _Poetry_
>> magazine, the reference is made and the reader thinks, "Prose Poem." If
>> they
>> appear in a volume entitled Selected (or Collected) Poems of X, the
>> phrase
>> is elicited. But if we were to find a typed paper blowing down the
>> street,
>> with one paragraph on it we would not spontaneously say "Ah! A prose
>> poem."
>> (And I have read scholarly books with a ragged right margin -- probably
>> not
>> relevant.) SO: Is it essential to a Prose Poem to announce itself,
>> somehow,
>> as such -- i.e., must all such poems deliberately violate the reader's
>> sense
>> of the words "prose" and "poem," yoking them by violence. Prose Poems
>> have
>> to be labeled as such; otherwise they are fragments of prose. The reader
>> must think as she reads, "This prose is not prose," or something like
>> that.
>> If they were not implicitly labeled as Prose Poems, would one of Eliot's
>> prose poems appear, rather, to be a fragment from a personal letter?
>>
>> Now, another peculiarity of that sentence from Austen is that the main
>> clause is about the reader him/herself: that is, if the acknowledgment is
>> "universal" then the reader must be included among those who acknowledge
>> the
>> truth of the subordinate clause. And since there must be at least a few
>> readers who don't so acknowledge that the sentence in fact refutes
>> itself.
>> And a self-refuting sentence has a completeness of its own -- a
>> completeness
>> not undermined by the fact that its meaning changes as we read the inal
>> chapters, in which Darcy admits that he can only, real, in which Darcy
>> admits that he can only, really, _be_ Darcy as the husband of Elikzabeth.
>> To
>> be himself, he had to be completed: he was indeed in want of a wife, a
>> particular one. But the sentence itself does not need that development to
>> have some real independence. Suppose I were to give it a title and
>> publish
>> it as my own poem: would that make it a prose poem by Carrol Cox?
>>
>> Incidentally, "literature" itself cannot actually be theorized, since we
>> can't, really, distinguish literature from non-literature. I guess we
>> can,
>> however, theorize that non-theorizable quality. Perhaps.
>>
>> Carrol
>>
>>
>