"I am not proceeding by linear deduction, but rather by concentric circles, moving sometimes toward the outer and sometimes toward the inner ones.... Rather than founding a theory--and perhaps before being able to do so (I do not deny that I regret not yet having succeeded in doing so)--my present concern is to establish a possibility" (Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge.
London: Routledge Classics, 2007; pp 128-29).
#657: Emily Dickinson
I dwell in Possibility--
A fairer House than Prose--
More numerous of Windows--
Of Chambers as the Cedars--
Impregnable of Eye--
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky--
Of Visitors--the fairest--
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise--
If poetry is the mode of possibility, as both Foucault's poetics and Dickinson's poem seem to imply, then how is that expressed? How to create a form that continues in possibility? How to renew the language (repeatedly) so it can be alive, rather than easy
? How can poems themselves be "a project for reconstituting [their own] aesthetic form" such that "a disordering of one's senses of the work would make us dwellers in possibility" (Jerome McGann and Lisa Samuels, "Deformance and Interpretation" in Poetry and Pedagogy
, ed. Joan Retallack and Juliana Spahr. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006; p 154).
Writing exercise: Take Dickinson's poem and break it apart. Insert spaces, move words around, break lines, make new lines, extend lines; do everything
add words. Make a new reading or a new poem.
See you tomorrow.