At 7:10 PM +0000 11/3/02, Christopher Walker wrote:
>And that, I think, is where I disagree with Alison's sense of poetry as
>>*parole* to something else's *langue*, which still seems to me a distinction
>>within a view of poetry as symbolic code, as though a Philippe Starck chair
>>(to change the artform) were a ludic resistance to over-earnest *chairness*.
Hi Christopher - I think the idea of "parole" and "langue" is
fruitful not as a conflict between two clearly separable "things"
(say, one person/society being legislative, another being "free" and
in reaction) but as desires or vectors embedded within this same
thing called language, which is constantly in conflict within itself.
Poetry makes its own rules, its own containments, if you like (though
I really can't come at the poetry-as-vase image) and I think
simultaneously is always straining against them. As for what's _not_
said - the resonances of feeling, the gaps - that's precisely, I
think, where a poet relinquishes control.
I have a feeling that poetry might be a whole number of things at
once - an impulse to ritual (Paz writes well about this), a bunch of
symbolic codes (what is more a symbolic code than ritual, after
all?), an erotic exchange of energies within language, a game, a
play, a patterning of semantic and other kinds of "sense", with the
emphasis on sensualities (there are many who'd disagree with me on
that...). But I take it as read that poetry exists in its more
interesting manifestations on the borders of language; it is much
more reckless than philosophy, and will simply step past thresholds
where most philosophy pauses in thought (not all - there are after
all people like E.M. Cioran...). I'm wary of too close parallels
between music and poetry - the more I know of music, which I confess
isn't much, the less straighforward they seem. But of course some of
the sense incorporated into poetry is the same kind of sense you can
find within music.