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some thoughts on poetry from someone in 1965 imagining what poetry would be on a post-apocalyptic planet at the end of war whose enemy was imaginary but whose casualties were real

I’ve been falling asleep to Delaney for about six months. Hoping it will irrigate my dreams. And also looking for poetics in unexpected places. Like out of the mouths of characters in a science fiction novel. These are some of my favorite poems, I think. The ones that move characters but whose actual words remain submerged. Anyway, here are some thoughts on poetry from someone in 1965 imagining what poetry would be on a post-apocalyptic planet at the end of war whose enemy was imaginary but whose casualties were real: “A poet is wounded into speech, and he examines these wounds meticulously, to discover how to heal them. The bad poet harangues at the pain and yowls at the weapons that lacerate him; the great poet explores the inflamed lips of ruined flesh with ice-covered fingers, glittering and precise; but ultimately their poem is the echoing, dual voice reporting the damage” – Vol Nonik, City of a Thousand Suns (1965) // “They were very lucid, very clear—and put wild and dispersed matter into a verberating order that came very close to me” (126-7). Clea on Vol’s poems.  //  Kocik, Robert: “When words mean only what they say, we die” (293) Supple Science (2013).  // This was Delaney at 22 // Need some new statements of poetics, I think. And to return to those that matter to me as I mend another book. Not the poem but propositions about how poems might unfold. What’s new?

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About the Author

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Joe Hall is a writer, educator, and deprofessionalized academic. Black Ocean Press published his most recent book, Someone's Utopia, in 2018. His second book, The Container Store Vols. I & II (SpringGun Press 2012) was written with Chad Hardy. He has published journal articles working the intersections of poetics, empire, and the commons.

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