Nob 19, 2012

And by no man, these verses

                         cAnto

                              Pound
                                      archive hOme newsletters my

                         Up
                                        & amp; Ndash; login poetry

                 calleD

                 (versiOn

                              Flash
                             Free

"transparent"); so.addparam("aLlowscriptaccess",
                            "Ezra

                                 Sorry
               copyrigHt



I generated this mesostomatic by using an online program on Pound's Canto XLIX, or, more specifically, a particular webpage that displays the poem along with a bibliographical note on Ezra Pound.

What was my involvement? I inputted the choice of poem, which webpage to use. Aside from this seed text, I also thought of what spine to put in, and after many tries, I came upon a possible (perhaps petty) application of Shakespeare upon Ezra's name (A Pound of Flesh). The computer generated ten possibilities (and though I was aware that you could mix and match the generated lines to come up with permutations, I saw that one of the ten was the best for me and immediately extracted it).

I decided to cut the four parts ("A" "POUND" "OF" "FLESH") into couplets ("A" "PO" "UN" "DO" "FF" "LE" "SH"). While playing around with the program, I wanted to use Pound not only out of (an unrequited) love for his Pisan Cantos, but because Pound was himself a heavy "borrower," credited (Wikily) for opening up "American poetry to diverse influences, including the traditional poetries of China and Japan." I chose this particular canto because I read those "traditional poetries" in here, and also because it was one of the few cantos available online. (That's convenient! Convenient too that XLIX leads with a telling line "For the seven lakes, and by no man these verses" which echoes this project).

I picked this particular mesostomatic product from among the other results because of the "meta," almost every couplet reflecting (like seven lakes) the project of mesostics and mesostomatics. Let's look at this per line to see how that works out.

The article "A" became "cAnto" which was just fitting, almost a title, very much an assertion of the poem as an identity (as Pound's own cantos likewise asserted their structure against Dante's). "Pound" then becomes byline, but also the unit of measure, and most happily a verb acting upon "archive hOme newsletters my". And what pleasure too that this O homed in on "hOme," for this was where the action was (along with "archive" and "newsletters"), where I was doing my work, and it was also a driving question in deliberating Pound as a biography: which, in the end, was home to him? Italy or the States? Or must we resort to a formula, the true man "of letters" resides nowhere else, nowhere outside "his verses".

However: "my"? Strictly speaking, these words ("hOme," archive," and "newsletters"), do not belong to Pound (if any word could be said to "belong" to him), nor to myself, despite all my choosing. If anything, they belong to the website, to the usual language of links and headings. Thus, we've multiplied possibilities for appreciating these serendipitous intersections.

The next couplet furthers this insight. In my mind, "Up/ & amp;Ndash" follow "Pound" as verb, but this velocity could also be taken as reflective upon the reader, the computer, and the "writer".

Originally, I intended "calleD// (versiOn" as a couplet for symmetric and metapoetic reasons. However, the copy-paste process somehow wouldn't allow them to stick together no matter what program I used (Word, Notepad, Rich Text, this text field). I decided they're better off that way: separate. I charged it too to the roll of the dice, and even in this casting, I found myself lucky: for "calleD" thus abstracted from "versiOn" somehow gravitates toward "poetry," especially "login poetry" and has for me the sense of the word calling as an oracular or gospel notion (many are called, few are chosen) that resonate, again with the project. "Flash/ Free" that's how this whole thing feels, not only the luck of the draw, but also this writing about the luck of the draw (using the luck of the draw).

I hear the spine word "FLESH" out of "Flash," which is a plus because this Shakespearean transgression is the "spinal" metaphor anyway: Pound's "Flesh" on the scales, along with ours, and the poetries involved, and chance itself.

More machinespeak in "transparent"); so.addparam("aLlowscriptaccess"," yes, but also the ideas of transparency (the poem/s, the lakes, this essay vis-a-vis Pound's obscurities and conceits), along with the parameters (of this project, of Pound's, Dante's as well, perhaps Shakespeare's) making clear through "aLlowscriptaccess" the dream and aleatory processes that inform all literature, and how some literature (such as this and Cage's, MacLow's) seek to emphasize how such unreadable things come into play in all human compositions.

"Ezra// Sorry/ copyrigHt" sealed the deal for me. When I saw the computer apologizing, I said hey, this is "my" poem! I hope you find it "yours" as well.

2 komento:

Susan Scheid ayon kay ...

This is just priceless. "Ezra/Sorry/ copyrigHt" had me laughing out loud--and for me the title of your post also helped "seal the deal." As I think you know, I hated doing the mesostics exercise, yet with this, once again (as our friend Ellen Dillon and others have) I am shown how truly clever the results can be in the hands of the right person. Bravo!

Dennis Aguinaldo ayon kay ...

Thank you! It was in your thread where I found the good idea of mesostisizing a writer you hate (or at least wouldn't mind butchering). While I do like Pound, I suppose he can take the occasional punishment.