> Essay


Par |2019-01-23T21:25:53+00:00 7 juillet 2013|Catégories : Blog|


It takes a tru­ly great wri­ter,
Of great cou­rage, to turn
Playfulness into pathos.

This in res­ponse to my neighbour’s
Poetry, so play­ful, so
Emily Dickinson and then
Frost and Stevens and O’Hara
Maybe, and defi­ni­te­ly Sylvia
(cow-hea­vy in her Victorian
Floral dress) yet such
Playfulness is not to be
Attempted light­ly,
So dan­ge­rous is its pro­found
Effect on neigh­bours and on
Neighbouring causes,
So didac­tic and so ele­men­tal
In what it achieves and what
It leaves una­chie­ved, to be achie­ved by others.
In short we must incor­po­rate
Playfulness but take note of
This very incor­po­ra­tion, that is to
Say, we need a body first, we
Need a face first and strong facial
Musculature at that, on which we may
Fix and alter our smiles at will
(O so many words to part with,
O so repres­sed my efflu­vial,
Effusive self­hood),
And thus
The Dickinson of Capital Death
And the Frost of the pas­to­ral epic
And then so many of them
William Carlos and Walt and Walcott,
The fren­zy of ser­vi­tude and the
Earnestness of hea­vy chains
And the pro­fli­gate serious­ness and
Morality of the colo­ni­sed soul who
Clings to the dear lan­guage of
Oppression and feels dee­ply its
Solemn wound, unable to choose
And unwilling to recant,
Cantare can­tare
La can­zone del­la Salce,
O ten­de­rest soul most
White-rea­dy to be stran­gled by
Your strong negro-blood and
Thus rea­dy to give birth to
The high tra­ge­dy of lived art –
It is in this ele­men­ta­ry way
That we reach out to the
Peripheral tis­sue of the old
Mother tongue-in-cheek
And thus any sub­ver­sion and any
Play is nothing but – nothing if
Not – a tre­mor in the heart
Hardly per­cep­tible at the level of
The feet and hard­ly able to alter
The basic, the fun­da­men­tal
Drum-tap-drum-beat of blood
Pouring out effort­less­ly into all
The living expanse of the lan­guage –
Mighty Leviathan that it is, to this
Very day, when
To mark my hand
I write.