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Stephen Collis

October-17-12 2:30 PM Raymond Willams: “any full history of the uses of [the word] ‘nature’ would be a history of a large part of human thought” About Poetry • poetry is about compression • Nature is considered to be a very complex word • Concept of nature is very vague. Nature is a flexible and fluid concept • The word Nature comes from a Latin word natura • The word kind only makes sense in relation to organic things • Pastoral poetry—a common mode of writing or presenting poetry • Humans create and shape grains, domestic animals and things we eat. Humans breed and change them • Pastoral poetry—the pastoral inhabits a contradictory and complex space between “civilization” and “wilderness,” partaking of both but fully inhabiting neither: It “is a mode that inventively and often self-reflexively dramatizes those contentious and contested intersections of rural and urban zones” • Country vs. the city • Utopia=future=civilization • Arcadia= past= nature • Pastoral poetry is set in a place like Arcadia • Arcadia is a common theme in ancient Greek or roman poems • Forest of Arden is an Arcadia setting • Utopia vs Arcadia • Utopia is more about the future and the perfect civilization. Idealizing • Arcadia is about the past and more about nature than civilization • Only humans can code and decrypt a message. Humans use symbolic thought Richerson &Boyd, Not by genees alone • “Culture is information capable of affecting individuals’ behaviour that they acquire from other members of their species through teaching, imitation and other forms of social transmission” (5) • “…the human cultural system arose as an adaptation, because it can evolve fancy adaptation to changing environments rather more swiftly than is possible for genes alone. Culture would never have evolved unless it could do things that genes can’t”(6-7) • It suggests that over the past 2000 years, this is the area of repeating and occurring ice ages. Humans learn to build and adapt through culture and ideas to conceive of a weapon and clothing in certain climate. These cultural ideas are handed down through generations Poetry • Poetry in some way is a means of entering back into space. The space between human culture and the real world Spencer Wells, Pandora’s seed “What evolved around 70,000 years ago in the human lineage was the ability to adapt quickly—to innovate—using our culture, as opposed to our biology..Innovation is a complex process, but at its most basic it involves imagining.. (get quote off of webct) The poem: The passionate shepherd to his love This poem uses iambic pentameter • • Written in 4 line stanza’s • Poem written to evoke song • The poem is in the viscinity an abstract concept (nature) Pasted from Penthurst/ The Garden October-17-12 2:28 PM Penshurst • In Penshurst poem lines 1-6 • Written in heroic couplets line 29-32 • In the relm of pastoral in the divide of human beings meeting each other • Describing the economy of Penshurst as a state • Described as productive and fruitful Lines 45-50 • Line 45—describes how close it is to nature, saying it is built by the country’s people • No one has a grudge against penshurst and does not resent it or desires to tear down the stone walls Johnson idealizes Penshurst • The Garden • The word “garden” literally means enclosure Pasted from The Moors October-17-12 2:30 PM Essay Notes • Double space • Print single sided • Have a separate title page: course name, name of t.a and/or section #, name and student # • MLA style • Include a works cited page at end of essay • In essay, don’t write “Wordsworth says…” The Moors-John Clare • Was part of the working/peasant class and was half educated (he didn’t know how to spell and used bad punctuation) • He seemed to represent the “noble savage” or “Nature’s man” • Line 5 &6- land was unchecked and unbounded  simply open and no ownership • He also mentions horizon a few times. Horizon is a conceptual boundary (limits you see where you are) • Wordsworth talks about similar things such as childhood • Political and social changes forced these limitations upon us (privatization) • There’s a broader sense of how we relate to nature, humans being more than nature? • “lawless law” –an unjust law Pasted from October-17-12 2:31 PM Emily Dickinson In the 19 century, there was no such thing as wilderness • • Beyond the human realm that was threatening and dangerous to them  savages, bears etc… • Myth about Dickinson—young intellectual girl in England ,locks herself in her room because she was heartbroken and there were 1,776 poems she had written • Published a dozen of poems anonymously because she didn’t care for publication • Part of the myth—she had a strict dominating father • Dickinson grew up in a town of Puritanism—believed you could reveal the truth that you were either saved or damned by God • She rebelled and did not go to church even though there were intense social pressures that you must attend church • Dickinson never gave titles or numbers to her poems • Publishers completely altered Dickinson’s poems and ignored all of Dickinson’s original dashes/punctuation • Line 1- metaphor –my life is a loaded gun • The owner of the gun employs her and carries her away • This poem was written in the year 1863 when the American civil war occurred—could correlate to why she is speaking of guns • Gender dynamics • Stanza 2—beyond the frontier • A mountain’s straight reply is the echo after the gun is shot • Stanza 3—Vesuvian face meaning volcano • Imagery of calm surface beneath which is a volcano or a loaded gun th • Stanza 4—in 19 century, women could not vote and women were considered to be property to their father • Stanza 5—how does the gun have the eye and the thumb • Is metaphor of the gun becoming more humanized • Shift between may and must “I may live longer” and “he must live longer” • There is desire or a wish in the word “must” • Difference of power: power of killing, power of dying Pasted from Ecopoetry October-17-12 2:32 PM Poetry- Moore • Poem has an arbitrary structure that repeats • “imaginary gardens with real toads in them”  the heart of the poem • • Sign(word):signifier + signified • Interesting to look at the notion of the sign • Paintings, movies, hand gestures etc.. are all systems of signs to convey information • Signifier: this is the actual sign (for e.g. the actual toad but there is no specific reason to refer to the actual animal, a toad) • Plato and eternal “ideas” • Conceptual idealization • E.g a chair,say the object can be broken, however the concept of the char is still the same and is in our head • Idea—realistic aspects of the idea • Ecopoetics—pastoral, nature relationship and changing • Interface between human and non-human realms • Use of economy—relationship with us and human, we use it every day. We use the whole world economically in producing and reproducing life and the way we live it • Ecopoetry investigates both nature, culture, economy, language • Looks at the ideas and objects that portray nature  no such thing as nature outside of human beings • All parts of nature is affected by humans Skinner’s “four species” of ecopoetry 1. Topological –what we think of when talk about nature and our feelings 2. Tropological –”trop” being a literary figure of speech; poetry where something about the language, form is attempted to be constructed as nature; poetry is trying to embody or be something natural 3. Entropological –it is in the natural world because it is imbedded in the natural world (i.e. Robert Smithson, spiral jetty) an organic natural form, cannot be seen in an exhibit 4. Ethnological—how it reflects aspects of the actual real human world; Pasted from Emily Abendroth October-17-12 2:33 PM John Keats, “negative capability” • “When a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason” Charles Bernstein • “I figure if a reader or listener can’t make out a particular reference or train of thought, that’s ok—it’s very much the way I experience things in everyday life. If the poem is at times puzzling or open-ended or merely suggestive, rather than explicit, maybe it gives the readers or listeners more space for their own interpretations and imaginations.” • Poetry is a cultural form that engages our imaginations Joshua Corey, Arcadia Project • “This book is a call to imagination—not to the imagination of dire futures, but to the interruptions of poetry. These interruptions—breaks in the mediated dreamscape of images passively consumed..are also connections..” (XXI) • Notion of poetry as an interruption • One can argue that our culture is not filled with “easy ways to fix things” Evitative Spool—Emily Abendroth • Evitative—a way of speaking around a subject • The question within the poem is not “what is the poem about” but “what can we do with it and what is the poem doing” • Wound fins and boning tongues—they are kinds of fish • Welk—a spiral like shell • Encountering words that have to do with the aquatic and lots of sea creatures are being noted to us • Flitch—a certain chunk of meat /A dicker—a term for ten hives • All these words lead to animal butchery • Use of the animals to make instruments • This poem does not express outrage or direct us in a certain direction but it is suggestive • Polysemic—there is more than one meaning at once / “A gesture multiply oriented” • Pithiness is polysemic in this poem • Can be a linguistic quality to be quick and witty or can be a biological word • A dicker can mean to negotiate/haggle or biological term for ten hives • A poem that is playing a bunch of word games Parataxis: • An order or arrangement created by placing things beside each other, with no necessary connection between them other than the fact that they have been placed beside each other. • Much of the world around is paratactic Hypotaxis—creating meaning to subordinating meaning then c Sally Keith October-17-12 2:33 PM Sally Keith “The Action of a man” • Moybridge(character in the poem)—an actual person who got away with justifiable homicide • Shot his wife’s lover • Founded a valley in California and was popular for his photography- freeze frame photography like a “flipbook” • Stanza 3: Describes the material substances of the spiral jetty • Stanza 4: shift that Cantonese workers are brought out. Did he use them in his photography? • Notice that every stanza has 5 lines and after every 6 stanzas there is a star • In the midst of the paratactic but these ideas are a little more narrative • Stanza 7: unknown location • Moybridge, spiral jetty (it is like a bridge to nowhere, can sometimes be above water or under water) and the transcontinental railway keeps being brought up • Stanza 8: Whitney—trying to get continental bills for trains • Cantonese workers were used to build train tracks and other immigrants (were poorly paid) • Celestial—A term that European people used to refer to as Chinese people • First person speaker—phone, renting a car etc… pick up vary little about their emotions • Arbitrary elements • Random threads that keep spiralling • Moybridge called himself Helios—Greek name for sun God • Main elements—construction of a railway, the making of a film, a bridge Pasted from Spahr October-17-12 2:34 PM Ibn Arabi • Sphar relates to this poem Psalm 136 O give thanks unto the lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever O give thanks unto • The same pattern that Spahr’s poem takes on: repetition and a prayer almost Haida Story There was a child of good family, they say. She was a woman, they say. They wove down of blue falcons • Repetition of the phrase “they say” • “We are there” evokes the moment • Under Two it repeatedly says “we came” • Poem beings with locating a place and “people” but nothing specifies who they are and when they are, no origin The poem specifies consciousness • • “the stream is a part of us and we are a part of it” • Page 401, long list of living things • List of plants and animals and the different stages of life (e.g. larva) • List of names is contemporary English language names of these life forms, some are slang • Four- it was not all long lines of connection and utopia • The speaker separates and speaks of the poem in that one line • Poem has shifted from listing natural organic things to human made commodities, chemicals and other practices that have an impact on our environment • Five page 407- poem is refining. There is now a singular speaker • The phrasing is grammatically odd “I turned to each other” • Specificity “I began to work for the chemical factory, I began to work for the paper mill” • In society we name things that sound cute • The poem is not judgemental and the speaker includes themselves in all this • Page 409- we return to this kind of primordial language • Lack of connectedness is lamented in the poem Indigenous world views • Everything is alive • All things are equal Pasted from Oct.22nd October-22-12 10:38 AM What is Ecology? • The economy of nature • Pollution and industrialization • Aspects of environmentalism are blocking the adoption of a truly ecological relationship to the world • Ecology is ideological • "Ideology addresses very real problems, but it mystifies them" • Memory Penitence/Contamination • Not based on content but instead it is based on form • Alternation between sense of meaning and the view that takes the environmental aspects on the page • A few references in the poem that involves religion Arcadia - Panthering October-24-12 10:30 AM "the concerns of the work have to do with transcribing the myriad registers of ecosystem/ body/mind/history/gender/sexuality/race/class/empire/ politic" o Random words jumbled together - parataxis just like in evitative spool • Title of the poem: Panthering - this is something that does not exist but the writer is trying to invent this practice of panthering • In the poem, there are a number of themes o The body, mind, incarnate, cerebellum - all elements that fall into a specific category o Another category: Political language The poem is now referencing a political world yet there are still • elements about the body • Also aspects of animals still exist
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