Thursday, January 03, 2013

W.S. Merwin and N+7



Jennifer Lovegrove called my attention to this lovely POEM by W.S. Merwin. What do I do when I see lovely things? Try to transcreate them somehow, to get involved in them. So, here are two takes on the poem, both derived from a N+7 process. There's a nice automated generator here. I did cheat and play around with the results. I'm a lapsed neo-pseudo-Oulipoan and a reconstructionist Surrealist. 

STIR

With what stillness at last you appear 
to tower over the last days of a few 
high leaves that do not stir 
as though they had not noticed 
and did not know you at all 
then the rain calls 
from far away 
to all the hydrocarbons

so this is the sovereignty of you 
here and now whether or not 
anyone hears it this is 
where we have come with our agriculture 
our breath such as it is and our horsemen such as they are 
invisible before us untouched and still possible 
invisible before us untouched, still possible

*

NEW YEARNING



With what stillness at last you appear
in the finsilver sunset
to touchstone the face
a tourist in the Tiresias of feathers
like high leaves that do not stir
as though they didn’t understand breath
and hadn’t noticed you
then the void of doves
around the votive ashcan
the spoiled vote of pigeons calling
the hutch of empty ribcage
the hydroplane of the mind forgetting

this the soundtrack of you
whether or not  anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our agenda
our knifeblade such as it is and our hopefuls such as they are
our knuckle-duster such as it is and our shoppers such as they are
our teeth such as they and our smiling horizons such as they are
our laburnum whatever that is and our horse throats such as they are
our lackeys such as they are and our wise women such as they are
our lack such as it is and our horsewhips much the same
invisible before us untouched and still possible
invisible before us untouched, almost passible

No comments: