Poetic Investigations

Tom D'Evelyn on Poetry and Its Others (philosophy, theology, poetics)

In Time Immemorial: Longley’s Daffodils

How does a very small poem persist in time immemorial? In the last century, the concept of metaxy or the In-Between (or just “the between’) has been explored at great … Continue reading

February 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

Kathryn Maris

  This page contains several essays on poems taken from God Loves You by Kathryn Maris See author’s comments on her poem “The Assembly” TK 1. “Knowledge is a Good … Continue reading

November 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

Celan’s Transcendent Form

  Reading Celan, we may have to speak of form and transcendence together. Here is a short lyric written almost immediately after his return from Jerusalem in 1969. The translation … Continue reading

October 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Milosz on the “Moment”

  Form as Guest: Milosz on the Moment or “A form accomplished” From “At Yale,” Collected Poems, 516. Whenever we think of what fulfills itself By making use of us, … Continue reading

October 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Hass’s most famous poem and nihilism

Robert Hass, “Meditation at Lagunitas” Discussing apophatic form (or the question of nihilism in poetry), I often refer to meditation as a relevant discipline. I do not mean to suggest … Continue reading

September 29, 2014 · 4 Comments

Zagajewski’s Concert

Here’s a poem from Adam Zagajewski’s 2011 collection, Unseen Hand (translation Clare Cavanagh): At intermission a man in a corduroy jacket emerges from backstage, lays his hands on the piano … Continue reading

September 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Zero at the Bone: Dickinson’s Metaphysical Moment

Emily Dickinson’s “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass”: A narrow Fellow in the Grass Occasionally rides – You may have met him? Did you not His notice instant is – … Continue reading

September 26, 2014 · 15 Comments

Building a New Poetics, Word by Word

  The “fertile void” is the central concept in a poetics. It echoes the Chinese concept of “dark enigma” (see Zhuangzi) but it refines it through the modern discourse on … Continue reading

September 26, 2014 · 2 Comments

Who Says So?: Considering the roots of the life of freedom in poetry

“Tyrannical say-soing Gods both reflect and produce tyrannical say-soing humans” says the contemporary Irish philosopher William Desmond in God and the Between (page 256). Say-so? I say so. One of … Continue reading

September 23, 2014 · 5 Comments

Oswald’s “Hymn to Iris” and Nothingness

With Kathryn Maris, Alice Oswald is among the contemporary poets who explore the paradox of nihilism in our time. As paradox, this is by nature a “difficult” topic; treating it … Continue reading

September 8, 2014 · Leave a comment