Saturday, January 26, 2008
A Language Discarded
Although Fence has yet to accept a Yaakov poem for publication, Yaakov nevertheless enjoys this adventurous journal, usually finding himself energized and in a way stabilized after reading an issue. The Fall/Winter2007-08 entry has a lot to offer, featuring work by Wenderoth, Armantrout and Salamun, among many notable others. The subject of this brief posting is a line from May Burger's prose poem "Necessay," which goes: "I discarded a language behind the language that was more present and less conflicted." What a knowing, insightful, canny remark! It summarizes a process that surely every writing act comprehends. Doesn't a writer, after much revising and second-thinking, ultimately settle on the "more present" language, in the sense of being most present to the "subject"? And as for conflict--imagine the conflicts that a language resolves as it proceeds to realization: between depth and surface, cadence and meaning, clarity and embodiment.