Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Notes in the wake of publicly expressing pessimism over poetry.

Dreaming of a poetry of compound words that tell whole stories, contain whole visions.








My skill is poor.

The recurrent childhood dream of breathing underwater. Swim! Swim! Swim!

Speculation of no consequence: Eternity is to time as the 3rd dimension is to a Flatlander.

Science fiction: Gary Snyder wanted the poet to be responsible to the last 40,000 years. Why 40,000? Because the earliest surviving tools/or/art date from then? Don’t know. My thing: 40,000 years from NOW. That’s what we’re responsible for. The past: Fascinating; the ancestral gods; roots. The future: Those yet unborn, whom, in imagination’s morality, we love. Future thinking must -- must! -- imagine that we don’t species-suicide. NOW: how to ensure that we don’t.

A new book calls for the U.S. to open its border with Mexico. Hear hear! Reparations: The U.S. stole the swath from southern California to Texas from Mexico 160 years ago. Absurd! -- that the poor people of that country have to sneak -- illegally -- into this country. Parag Khanna sounds plausible -- confirms my hunches -- that the American hegemony is over, positing a trilateral world between the U.S., the E.U., and China, with the 3 great powers competing over the resources in the “second world” -- the title of his book. Curious to read it.

40,000 years from now, nationalism will seem a pitiful fearful superstition.

Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory. -- Ulysses S. Grant, 1885, on the Mexican-American War

The phrase “a line in the sand” has military roots dating to the Roman Empire.

Edmund Spenser knew the ephemerality of sand-writing.

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away;
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide and made my pains his prey.
"Vain man," said she "thou dost in vain assay
A mortal thing so to immortalize,
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise."
"Not so," quoth I "let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name;
Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew."
-- Amoretti LXXV, 1595

-- photo of the Tunisian Sahara by Declan McCullagh

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