Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Powders, pencils, mountains, cigars

The particular thing, whether it be four pinches of four divers white powders cleverly compounded to cure surely, safely, pleasantly a painful twitching of the eyelids or say a pencil sharpened at one end, dwarfs the imagination, makes logic a butterfly, offers a finality that sends us spinning through space, a fixity the mind could climb forever, a revolving mountain, a complexity with a surface of glass; the gist of poetry. D. C. al fin.
William Carlos Williams, Kora in Hell: Improvisations (1920)
But I mean, the main thing, André, is, why do we require a trip to Mount Everest in order to be able to perceive one moment of reality? Is Mount Everest more real than New York? Isn't New York real? I mean, I think if you could become fully aware of what existed in the cigar store next door to this restaurant, it would blow your brains out. I mean, isn't there just as much reality to be preceived in a cigar store as there is on Mount Everest?
Wallace Shawn and André Gregory, screenplay for My Dinner with André (1981) (words spoken by Shawn)

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

Hello Daddy,

Today in my poetry 101 class we read "The Red Wheelbarrow" and I was brought back to one of my very first poetry lessons (from YOU). It's a real treat to see you're talking about Williams here too!

Rachel (your number one daughter)

Michael Leddy said...

Hi kiddo,

Fancy meeting you here!

That WCW passage from Kora makes the same kind of point as the poem -- the particular thing, even a thing as unassuming as a pencil or a wheelbarrow, is endlessly suggestive to the mind.