dug and tend
the sort of gardener
who looks with smug
upon the heap
of weeds just pulled,
only to realise
you'd asked for.
Saying shit I shouldn't since 1977.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 11:11 AM
A unique collection of original nature poetry printed onto handmade cards the size of luggage tags from writers around the world will be exhibited on a wall outside Reed Hall on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus. The Wall of Miracles poetry installation makes use of a particularly beautiful section of masonry near Reed Hall, hanging poem cards about animals and nature by string to the wall.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 7:32 PM
Been a while since I posted anything, largely because my computer decided it no longer wanted to connect to the internet and I had to get a new one more willing to do my bidding.
I returned home on the 6th from the Irving Layton symposium at Ottawa U, where I gave a talk on Layton's improbable relationship with Black Mountain. I recorded said talk and will be uploading it once I get it off my defective PC and load it on to my shiny new MacBook (a purchase I could ill afford, but I just couldn't face the prospect of continuing to use the invective-inducing Beta-grade software known as Windows).
Anyway, the symposium was very stimulating. Kind of fun to take part in such a thing as a non-academic interloper, if only for the sociology of it all.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 11:24 AM
I don't think you can spend your whole life questioning whether language can represent reality. At some point, you have to believe that the inadequacies of the words you use will be transcended by the faith with which you use them. You have to believe that poetry has some reach into reality itself, or you have to go silent.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 12:51 PM
What are virtues in a person can be liabilities of poems. Diffidence, gentleness, satisfaction with one's self, a certain sort of immediate sympathy for the troubles of the world and of others: all these can keep a poem from rising above the merely pleasant. Frost once remarked that poetry was a way of taking life by the throat, but for so many contemporary poets it seems a way of taking life by the hand. Certain tactics become deadeningly familiar: the privileging of specific subject matter ("Relate to me," you can almost hear some poems cry); the primacy of personal experience and the assumption that language can contain it; the favorite foreign country that becomes a sort of grab bag for subject matter; the husk of anecdote cracked for its nut of knowledge; the serious intellectual and psychological issues that do a soft-focus fade-out into imagistic unknowingness; the ease, even pride, with which the poet accepts such unknowingness. much of this poetry isn't "bad," exactly; you wish it were worse, in fact, because then you could more clearly explain to yourself why a large dose of it--a batch of books to review, say, or an hour spent browsing magazines--leaves you feeling not simply numb but guilty for that numbness, as if you were the only tainted thing in a world where everything was perfectly clear, perfectly pleased with itself. Intensity is the only antidote--of language, of experience, of ambition. In the presence of that intensity, all that is merely pleasant falls away.--Christian Wiman, Ambition and Survival
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 9:59 AM
Finally got around to uploading and editing the audio from the reading Rachel and I did at Fables Club in Tatamagouche, NS, earlier this month. Not a huge crowd, but a very attentive one. Fables is such a great venue.
Posted by Zachariah Wells at 5:22 PM