Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Great interview with Dennis Lee in latest edition of Matrix. His comments on process, music, voice and the energy of a poem are brilliant. In speaking of the fractured manufactured language in Joyce's Finnigans Wake, Lee talks about what makes Joyce's writing 'work.'

"The energy that makes them happen is pre-linguistic; it's under the words, shouldering its way upwards. So the connection here is vertical. Familiar words get blown apart, and reconfigured in the process, but always through the the pressure of this subsonic energy of being. "

Lee also talks about the under-energy inherent in the music or cadence of poem as that which "gooses a poem." Love that. And also what he says about voice:

"A piece can be univocal and still be convincing. A lot of lyric poetry has a single voice and it can go like an arrow to your heart. The poems that don't speak to me are the ones that don't have any cleanly etched voice at all. Or else they do, but it's that wretched tone of flat statement. The one that prevails in so much contemporary poetry..."

Wise words from a wonderful poetic innovator. Made me order his last two books UN and Yesno. Will report more when I read them. anon crackers.

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