an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Friday, April 25, 2008

. . . . .


Paradise Lost
suffered for centuries under critical presumption that Milton failed in his experimental effort ("To justify the ways of God to man") because he was himself so taken with the Devil's Party (as poets are) he could not help but make Satan more attractive than God, or because God could not effectively be humanized and still be God, or because to humanize Satan is to require that the Devil be somehow superhuman in his loftier fall and therefore seem like (the more attractive version of) God...

Then Fish stepped in and said Surprise: this isn't authorial anxiety. It's a performance of readerly anxiety. And I think that's part of what I've been trying to say: readerly anxiety thrust onto the poet and the poem is so, well, compelling. It's a powerful position to put oneself into.


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

[contact me:]

what o'clock it is


live flowers