Friday, August 20, 2004

Sluggish as the blog has been, I will take it upon myself to revive it and address Nate’s very important questions about the position of imagery in poetry. The advantage of imagery is I think the nebulousness of its meaning, by which I do’nt mean a negative type of obscurity. To the contrary, images are able to be nebulous without being obscure precisely because of their tangibility. Images are naturally direct, but when they used well they cultivate indirectness. In this respect, an image's reference to a physicality is significant. The trick, however is to find a way to expand the images referentiality beyond the merely physical. If Lautreamont’s “As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella upon a dissecting table" is effective it is precisely because of the abstract part of it and because stating the beauty of this coincidence of objects arouses an immense range of emotions from delight to horror which encapsulates beauty in a truer way than the image could on its own. This can easily be a clumsy tool if images are always stand-ins for emotion, but variety is key and imagery can be expanded in many ways but I suppose it always has to have some human glint to it.


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