I remember when jet engines became reliable enough to replace propellers rotating in the atmosphere. The jets, by enclosing the propellers in a duct of atmospheric air, mixed with burning paraffin, operated best at greater speeds and altitudes (approaching or beyond the speed of sound and higher up into the stratosphere, above the weather)... At that time this was an imaginative and practical miracle, soon to become a part of every life that is influenced by rapid air travel... A changed world for each of us, exploiting and exploited.
I'm writing and rewriting this after two days of reading Wallace Stevens' letters* and, before that, his collected writings**... I realise now that his great physical and intellectual strength led him to attempt a poetry equal to nature, 'to raise poetry to the status of a secular religion' (Kathryne Lindberg***). I imagine that the effect of this has yet to be known or felt among those who still believe in a god who is dead to most of us.
...I want, as a man of the imagination, to write poetry with all the power of a monster equal in strength to that of the monster about whom I write. I want man's imagination to be completely adequate in the face of reality.
Nota: man is the intelligence of his soil...
Such ambitious and ambiguous poems as 'Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction' raise poetry to the status of a secular religion, a monistic philosophy.
(these pages are designed to be read with the window set to two-thirds of the screen width)what's new
digital diary archive
daffodil email newsletter© 2002, 2003, 2004 john chris jones
If you wish to reproduce any of this text commercially please send a copyright permission request to jcj at publicwriting.net