Language poet poetics

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Here are 3 poems and GIFs inspired by several works and interview commentary by poet Lyn Hejinian. They explore various aspects of her work with a few exploratory adjustments, including the GIF format.

A “New Sentiment” form

I explore the “New sentence” disjunctive form, as illustrated by Lyn Hejinian, but this time running hot and cold by introducing color to approximate a sentiment analysis; that is, the positivity or negativity of sentences. Let’s call it “new sentiment” form. The key question, of course, for this measure is according to WHOM?!? (The poet, me, in this case…)

Sentimentality is further explored using an approximation of the definition suggested by Hejinian (interview) as the disjunction that occurs when one is emotionally beyond words and the narrative focus suddenly changes. The GIF accompanying this is, “Let passion take me…”. [Note: GIF images from public domain sources.]

Vocabulary analysis

Again, a modification of the “new sentence” form, this time incorporating “tag crowd” or “tag cloud” principles to magnify the dominance of repeated words. I choose to subvert the methodology with a pun, to outsmart a generally automated process through creative variation. The accompanying GIF is “Performing Salmon”.

Sculpting away

In the above referenced interview, Hejinian discusses the process she used to write her book, The Fatalist (Hejinian, Lyn. The Fatalist. Omnidawn, 2003.), wherein she recorded months of correspondence, notes, etc., and chipped away at the text to find the poetry hidden within, much like the sculptor releasing a statue trapped within a block of marble. In that vein, I have constructed a poem from the last 10 emails that arrived in my Inbox.

The accompanying GIF, “Fate of galaxy”, quotes Hejinian from the interview. Following on from the sculpture analogy, she says, “fate is not something that is going to happen, but is all that already has happened. That whatever has happened will never not have happened.” A transcendental aspect is combined with “sturdy and detailed” text in the GIF.

(Originally posted Feb, 2020, here and here.)