Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Dipping only—Streckfus’ The Cuckoo (which I’ve seen reviewed as being “nonsensical,” so I expected it to be more like Famous Americans, but so far it seems very clearheaded in its distinction between what people are and how they tell their stories), Olson’s Maximus (extremely quotable: “it puts a man back/ to find out how much/ he is busy, this way, not as his fellows are/ but as flowering trees,” or, earlier, “there are no hierarchies, no infinite, no such many as mass, there are only/ eyes in all heads,/ to be looked out of.” Interesting how he invests himself in genius in its wayback meaning, spirit of a place, throughout. &, did he know the Lawrence poem “Maximus,” I wonder?), the Dao De Jing (what is there to say?), Perry Meisel’s Myth of the Modern (this guy is a brilliant critic, and also seriously off on his own at times. In one sentence, he admires authors who look forward to those they are in dialogue with in their future (for him, those moderns who take after Pater), and respectlessly disdains those obsessed with a nonfactual perfect past (for him, those moderns who take after Arnold)), and a book by an old (first, actually) writing prof., Alan Michael Parker, Days Like Prose, which poems’ sensibility affected me deeply. In two ways, since his teaching style is similar to his poetry’s. But funnier.

But my eyes aren’t sinking deep enough in for any to into me, though. It’s hard to write with the exhaustion I often live with. Body energy = composition. Not-enough body energy = ideas.

Sigh. And so on.

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