James Dickey on Forests: the Foreword to Talvikki Ansel’s Poetry Collection, MY SHINING ARCHIPELAGO (Yale Series of Younger Poets, 1997)

  • Talvikki Ansel grew up in Mystic, Connecticut. She received an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College and an M.F.A. from Indiana University. Self met her at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, many years ago.

Without further ado, the opening of James Dickey’s Foreword to My Shining Archipelago:

When Mallarmé, according to Symbolist doctrine, says that the poet should not describe trees but convey “the horror of the forest,” we might also remember that, though poetry has dealt with a great many forests, it has ventured into only a few jungles. Considering the surplus of plant and animal life offered, the sheer exotica, this may at first seem curious, but when considered at more length it is not as odd as it may seem. Though poets, especially romantic poets, like to be overwhelmed by nature, true jungles, such as those through which the Amazon and Orinoco run, are so overwhelming as to dumbfound, or almost. Step from a temperate zone into the endless greenhouse of a rain forest, and consciousness founders, groping to find ways to speak that may be adequate. The horror of the forest is not to be delivered by Symbolist implication but by present and proliferating Fact. All is intensity, as though in such hothouse breathlessness things exist for the express purpose of being intense. All colors are collision colors: a single stripe on the wing of a butterfly is painful; one turns away.

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Walking Around the Lake Annaghmakerrig, Morning (Before the Hailstorm)

CORNER: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 23 August 2017

Self finds this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, CORNER, very interesting. It challenges us to think “about angles and intersections.”

She was watering on her front porch and decided to take pictures of some of the brick ledges. Threw in a picture of the Fox Theatre, a historic Redwood City landmark, right across the street from the San Mateo County Historical Museum:

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She found the ceramic turtle in a Salvation Army store, decades ago.

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Gardening’s always been her thing.

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Downtown Redwood City has this historic theatre (Would you believe, self’s never attended a performance?). Obama spoke here, a few years ago.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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