"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

03 December 2012


Sometimes he says that the poem is actually different each time it appears because it is printed in a different typeface or on a different weight of paper or different electric screen, and context is everything in poetry, and therefore the poem is by definition a new poem, given its new context. Sometimes he says that the poem is actually different every time because we are wrong to think that we know anything certain about something we have read before; for one thing we immediately forget most of what we read, and for another the whole point of a poem is to have layers and hints and intimations and subtexts and shimmers and suggestions of other meanings and depths, so each time you read the same poem it is not the same poem because you are reading it a different way, on a different day, and of course you are not the same person you were when you read it before either, so how could the poem be the same if you are different when you read it?

Read the rest at Harriet.

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