We are reading the poetries. Reading = an activity [ of the intellect ]possessed of many denotative and connotative dimensions.
[insert: of the emotions that have full agency without the intellect/ of the body’s splendid and satisfying aesthetic productions]
What is a man to tell
Silence is an encyclopedia
[remove “tell,” silence his voice, arrive at the core
What is a man to
Silence is an encyclopedia]
((If you remove “to,” the relationship dissolves and the leap ends in a plural singular or a singular plural))
They (a woman, a man)
are reading the existing narratives
and critical commentaries
on the poetries from 1900 to the present.
They are reading and reflecting on how to make choices that increase the ability to deal with an enormous* amount of material without being paralyzed or throwing up the hands in defeat.
*at last count, enormous = infinity
Yes, reading to make choices based on historical consciousness of change.
Reading they are how some (highbrow without volition) print poetry hangs out with its noisy cultural cousins ---the blues and jazz and vernacular remixes, and how the free and funky cousins often (and especially lately) turn up their noses at the conservative, constipated antics of ultra-intellectual kin who, despite denial, are begging something from the powerful somebodies.
Was June Jordan the only poet to notice ------
Whitman was right long before Pound went wrong?
Was (fill in the blank) the only poet to notice ----
(fill in the blank) was lef long before (fill in the blank) turned right?
Are all the messages in the family equal?
All messages in the family are equal!
It is poetry as a cultural family affair over an eternity that has not denied the authenticity and legitimacy of innovations (deformations and reformations from a debated and debatable black hole command center of antiquity, modernism, post-modernism, and the unnamed identities of now); of departures (i.e., diversity in practices, ideologies , performance ---swings between the poles of the oral/spoken and thought/written); of ordering the chaotic process of poetry.
Language, like nature, does not violate the logic of its chaos.
This exercise is about reading with a furious discipline.
Reading is decoding, trying to understand how poetry demands a sense of history and of the people who have made/make/ will make certain kinds of poetry, a sense of aesthetic as perception and aesthetics as a theorizing of perceptions, and a sense that poetry in the United States is dynamic and is definitely not a limited number of monuments before which people must kneel and worship.
Technologies make the eyes squint.
The exercise is about reading so as not to deny the necessity of using technology to transmit (as in the humanistic imperative) a total process of knowing, interpreting , using selected traditional as well as digital humanities insights from critical thinking about poetry for the purposes of public humanistic pedagogy; and doing---whether one is a maker of poems or a receiver of poems or a both.