14 March 2007

Allen Ginsberg

[from Allen Ginsberg's Journals Mid-Fifties 1954-1958, edited by Gordon Ball]

The poem as an equation (a machine) reproducing in verbal images the visual and other images of the dream . . . reproducing the elements which juxtaposed gave me the awe & terror & knowledge in the dream — successfully such an ideal poem could reproduce that “petite sensation” in the reader. . . .

Setting up two (images) points (with a gap) separate in time and showing the distance between them:


The host with someone indistinct
Converses at the door apart,
The nightingales are singing near
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,

And sang within the bloody wood
When Agamemnon cried aloud . . .
       T. S. Eliot, “Sweeney Among the Nightingales”

The slant moon on the slanting hill
Once moved us toward presentiments
Of what the dead keep, living still,
And such assessments of the soul

As, perched in the crematory lobby,
The insistent clock commented on . . .
       Hart Crane, “Praise for an Urn”

. . . Actually attaining an inner secret Time shock, the result of telescoping time by setting up two or more image points separated with a wide gap showing distance between them, the jump or interval or ellipsis of consciousness: a sort of mystical eclipse of Time arrived at thru the science of presenting clearly images showing change. . . .

The parallel between Cezanne’s theory and poetry theory — to present to the mind’s eye two equally strong images without editorial or rhetorical connection — same as without traditional perspective lines, for the effect of the juxtaposition: the resulting pun or ellipsis of Space. . . .

so much depends
a red wheelbarrow
       William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow”

. . . The ellipses between 2 points in the mind’s eye should show the finality of time in no uncertain terms . . . The clearer & starker & barer, the more sensational the Eclipse. . . .

Ellipsis in event gives rise to the grief-realization of time, or the cold shiver of eternity . . .

Ellipsis in syntax — dropping of articles, connectives, sawdust of the reason [CP: my italics] — to join images as they are joined in the mind: only thus can two images connect like wires and spark . . . [I] need to trap sensations and collect the fragments which give rise to them, by any means, reconstructing [sensations] in images. This means, events in time perceived, giving rise to a subjective emotion, illuminating time. . . .


Thinking about ellipsis,
look in the mirror.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking in the mirror....and
    seeing commas.

    (good blog entry, Carol.)

    I'm off to the surgeon. xox