Thursday

Reverdy’s poetry avoids the disciplines of Surrealist poetry,


and is the richer for it. He is not afraid to experiment with language and syntax, and it is often difficult to determine whether a particular line belongs with the preceding sentence or the one following it. The lines drift across the page as overheard human speech drifts across our hearing: fragments of conversation, dismembered advertising slogans or warning signs in the Métro appear and remain preserved in the rock crystal of the poem. And far from banishing poetry to the unconscious, he lets it move freely in and out of the conscious and the unconscious. Since we do not inhabit either world exclusively, the result is moving and lifelike. Sometimes his preoccupations seem infinitesimally small–the shadow of a coin on a book of matches, for instance. But the small object can suddenly become enormous, be “all there is,” by means of a split-second crescendo like the ones that occur in Webern’s music. Reading a poem by Reverdy, one can have the impression one moment of contemplating a drop of water on a blade of grass; the next moment one is swimming for one’s life.

Ashbery

1 comment:

  1. this is the most elegantly written and comprehensible thing I've read whilst on drugs. thanks. I want to comment everything on this blog, but don't have enough vowels-bought.
    sincerely,
    --J.

    ReplyDelete