Monday, August 23, 2010


"It is the arbitrary fact, and not any quality of wisdom literature, which creates the impact of the poets. The 'shock of recognition,' when it is anything, is that. If we can hold the word to its meaning, or if we can import a word from elsewhere—a collective, not an abstract noun, to mean 'the things that exist'—then we will not have on the one hand the demand that the poet circumstantially describe everything that we already know, and declare every belief that we already hold, nor on the other hand the ideal of the poet without any external senses at all." -George Oppen, "The Mind's Own Place"

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