Discourse: for Stanley Rosen. (Notes & Comments: June 2003).
1 As to whether there persists--enlighten me-- a dialectic: labour into desire. Forgive my small vocabulary that tries and abides your patience. What a wonder's man the philosopher set on his throne. What a wonder he is, and how abysmal. I would not have you say I speak ungratefully; or that there's self going spare in our unsparing tribute. Arbeitsknecht by adoption, I never slam down advice, even to shake the building. Perhaps (but not likely) I may be still a whizz at ordinary language and you mishear things. 2 No, put this way: cancel, expunge, annul, self-reference. Philosophy keeps up embarrassment and expense. I'd quit us of further scars had these now been incurred. You're magisterial in judgement's gorge where the rocks are at all angles and the stream huggers its way through: let's flip with self-projection's paper boat. Language not revealing to the elect only; and wild descenders pierced by good. So few of us absolved when what we write sets us to rights on some scam-scale of justice. You're magisterial in your own conviction. And a clown with it, and a judge of clowns. 3 Susurrations of winter: voicing stems mistune a glass harmonica at my good ear. The alien's close to home, the changeling's not too much a prodigy or wastrel; lovers and children not inimical by rote. Something here even so. Our well dug-in language pitches us as it finds-- I tell myself don't wreck a good phrase simply to boost sense-- granted its dark places, the fabled burden; its loops and extraordinary progressions, its mere conundrums forms and rites of discourse; its bleak littoral swept by bursts of sunlight; its earthen genius auditing the spheres.
Geoffrey Hill's poem will be part of a Festschrift in honor of Stanley Rosen, edited by Damjan de Krnjevic-Miskovic and Nalin Ranasinghe, forthcoming from St. Augustine Press in 2004.
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|Date:||Jun 1, 2003|
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