Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm reading Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of Space for a long essay on Emily Dickinson. Bachelard is a self-described addict of what he calls 'felicitous reading', a term which I'll be using in the future. Bachelard - a former philosopher of science now writing on poetics - writes, 'Sometimes, even when I touch things, I still dream of an element.' I think a whole shimmering tone poem a la John Adams could spring from this phrase.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I feel as though a landmark in my reading life has arrived in the mail: the Collected Poems of Robert Lowell could – I suppose – be seen from a distance given its heft. He dwarfs Elizabeth Bishop’s output (which is not by any means a total victory).

My favourite lines in English literature (this month) come from his ‘Banker’s Daughter’:

And so I press my lover’s palm to mine;
I am his vintage, and his living vine
entangles me, and oozes mortal wine
moment to moment.