The Print, The Step

Two lines from #121 in Daryl Hine &: A Serial Poem

[…]

As if each moment were a monument

[…]

Not every happening qualifies as an event.
Two lines that bring to mind for me the subtle art of Jeff Hill who did the decorations and lettering for Peter Pauper Press's Cherry-Blossoms: Japanese Haiku Series III (1960)

I treasure the finesse of the block like elements of the houses or huts on the left. Some just over the window-like frame. Some overlapping red on black.

Such illustration is worthy to be called an event. It happens as if each monument were a moment.

And so for day 1904
29.02.2012

To See Anew

Alison Uttley
Grey Rabbit’s May Day

“Unwilling to steal ritual flowers, but unable to speak and explain their need, the animals leave gifts in exchange --- among them a Roman glass tear bottle, found by the mole in a tunnel and filled by the rabbit with fresh May dew. Initially bewildered, Miss Susan [the nearly blind women who tends the garden] finally rubs her eyes with that dew and finds that she can again see ‘the feathers of the birds, the petals of the flowers.’”

House and Garden
March 2000
p. 78
Also published under the title Little Grey Rabbit's May Day

And so for day 1903
28.02.2012

Versions of Form

These notes jump but it is still interesting to see how a transcription of a four-part relation is paired with musings about the thinker's limitations in regards to cross-modal sensory translations.

Nelson Goodman
Ways of Worldmaking
As meanings vanish in favor of certain relationships among terms, so facts vanish in favor of certain relationships among versions.
In proposing such a proportional analogy, does the logic of version and that of term dovetail?

meanings : term :: fact : version

comment:
Cross-modal Quotation
Goodman's sense of picture does not extend to dramatic tableaux via sculpture ∴ he cannot account well for sight-sound combos in performance art. His notion of containment equals enclosure and does not posit an encompassing frame that regulates reference in cross-modal structures.

picture can quote sound & vice versa —> replicas, inscriptions & utterances
Intriguing how my little comment reads via the contrast of "enclosure" and "frame" — almost as if I was channelling the notions of "term" and "version".

And so for day 1902
27.02.2012

Cross-stanza Sonorities

Walter de la Mare. Peacock Pie "The Cupboard"

I love the suggestiveness of rhyming "me" with "key". And I particularly am thrilled by how the rhyme is carried over the stanzas.

I know a little cupboard,
With a teeny tiny key,
And there's a jar of Lollypops
     For me, me, me.

[…]

I have a small fat grandmamma,
With a very slippery knee,
And she's Keeper of the Cupboard,
     With the key, key, key.
And thanks to the rhyme the image of the grandmamma as fat and small recedes with the prominence of the "very slippery knee".

And so for day 1901
26.02.2012

Beginning at the End

I remember playing the role of Rumplestiltskin in a school play back in grade one or grade two. The tune and lines of the little man's song have been with me since. "Rumplestiltskin, one two, three." I thought that this was the beginning of the song and the rest constantly escaped me. I retrieved the mimeographed script from a trunk and found that it was the end — no wonder I couldn't recall la suite!

Rumplestiltskin, little and old,
Rumplestiltskin, spinning gold
Can she guess the name for me
Rumplestiltskin, one two, three
I now note that the script was printed in a child's hand — good for memorization.

And the stage directions are in cursive.

And so for day 1900
25.02.2012

Caveats as Expansions

As the veneer of democracy starts to fade… on Paolo Virno by McKenzie Wark in its peroration opens up the field:

Here I would like to just mention some caveats. Firstly, it seems rather old fashioned to speak only of the human and not the multi-species muddle we actually exist in and as. And rather than language I would prefer to open up some other categories that define the human as indefinable, whether it be play (Huizinga), ornament (Jorn), or the passions (Fourier). Moreover in its lack of definition, the human might not be a unique species, but one of many that plays and is open to the world. That world might be less eternal and unchanging were Virno to think about natural history a bit more broadly than Chomsky naturalistic materialism of a universal grammar. The Anthropocene makes even nature historical and temporary.
I like the implicit form ("Yes but") that brings us into the domain of general semiosis. That raises the question not only of signification but also that of signifiance. Modes Reception. Modalities of Readership. What's on your radar?

And so for day 1899
24.02.2012

Alcorn's Tale of Miss Agnes B. and Ivy Lee

John Alcorn — last song on Haunted is a ballad of two women loved by the same sailor who in the course of the song comes and goes leaving our protagonists to their routines. It begins enchantingly …

Miss Agnes B. and Ivy Lee
They are two floors below
They eat Peek Freans and toast at tea
And watch their violets grow.
And the sailer having come and gone, the song ends …
Miss Agnes B. and Ivy Lee
They live two floors below
They look at pictures of the sea
And know they'll never go.
And aptly the song is called "Pictures of the Sea". The sailor is incidental.

And so for day 1898
23.02.2012

Hope Against Hopefully

This is perhaps my favourite entry in The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Hopefully. This once-useful adverb meaning "with hope" has been distorted and is now widely used to mean "I hope" or "it is to be hoped." Such use is not merely wrong it is silly. To say, "Hopefully I'll leave on the noon plane" is to talk nonsense. Do you mean you'll leave on the noon plane in a hopeful frame of mind? Or do you mean you hope you'll leave on the noon plane? Whichever you mean, you haven't said it clearly. Although the word in its new, free-floating capacity may be pleasurable and even useful to many, it offends the ear of many others, who do not like to see words dulled or eroded, particularly when the erosion leads to ambiguity, softness, or nonsense.
We live in hope.

And so for day 1897
22.02.2012

Erudite Attributions of Quality

The Quotable Oscar Wilde by Sheridan Morley renders this with two instances of "very"

I have very simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the very best.
I have seen a similar sentiment attributed to Winston Churchill: "I am easily satisfied with the best."

Apparently the source for the Wilde text doesn't have the double (or any) "very". 1917, Oscar Wilde: An Idler’s Impression by Edgar Saltus, Quote Page 20, Brothers of the Book, Chicago. To wit: "I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best."

I derive this information from the ever resourceful Quote Investigator (Garson O’Toole). http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/12/03/simplest-tastes/#note-4945-1 who also enlightens us on the matter of the reference to (not by) Churchill: "Winston Churchill was associated with a similar statement, but he did not say the words himself. Instead, the comment was reportedly made by the British statesman F. E. Smith who used it when describing Churchill’s tastes."

Our thanks for the very best of investigations. [And the opportunity to snidely correct those that would impute to the great Oscar the double "very" which so cheapens the sentiment not to mention the marks of taste.]

And so for day 1896
21.02.2012

BTW Lullabies

Reading Daryl Hine &: A Serial Poem I came across a passage that echoed in my mind with a reading of Gjertrud Schnackenberg Heavenly Questions.

First #60 from the Hine book

Immured in a single-occupancy cell,
Each day indistinguishable from the next,
& nearly inextinguishable, perplexed
How all manner of things shall nevertheless be well,
With a celibate selfish as a shellfish spell
[…]
I was the line "How all manner of things shall nevertheless be well" that put me in mind of Schanckenberg's poems and the shellfish reference added another piece of evidence to the perceived intertextual relation since she has a poem "Fusiturricula Lullaby". But it is the opening sequence of the book, "Archimedes Lullaby," that I quote here in the hope that you too will hear the reverberations.
A visit to the shores of lullabies,
Where Archimedes, counting grains of sand,
Is seated in his half-filled universe
And sorting out the grains of shape and size.
Above his head a water-ceiling sways,
Beneath his feet the ancient magma-flows
Of metamorphic, underneath plateaus
Are moving in slow motion, all in play,
And all is give-and-take, all comes and goes,
And hush now, all is well now, close your eyes
Like the magma-flows beneath tectonic plates, the line about hushing returns in variations: And close your eyes now, hush now, all is well (from Fusiturricula Lullaby").

And so for day 1895
20.02.2012