Sunday, 25 November 2007

Look at meee!: notes on Cambridge Poetry (2/5)

6. So I am out of the ordinary course of my nature, in contending that the latest diseases of UKPoetry, that shocked BERGVALL, proceed from the poisons of sectarian doctrines, and not intersected material.

7. In the town of Cambridge, not to injure magical oaks, that are plentiful, buildings are devised like alphabetical letters, and labours are under way, to print an “S”, which may house seventy-five men, on West Road, & where oaks grow up such that, it is plain, Cambridge will say SOUP. But let this of soup pass.

8. The eyes of man, fitted to perceive, & his hands to take, the middle-sized equipment, that is most useful to survival, are ill-adapted to perceive, or be at home with, the frailties and inconveniencies of an atom, a star, or a great system wherein the honest contention for this fashion, or that, is converted to contend for the skirmish of fashions.

9. BRIDWELL says, and many think, that the jumble of atoms of criticism, that ill or well clarify, or blur, this poet or that, or this, that, verse, work, book, form their General Character, only on sociological ground, or others will say material. But, there being many material things, such as atoms, and stars, and systems, wherein we have very imperfect notions, or none at all, our reason shows us but Fortuna and the barbarian. Then each man looks barbarously to his interest, and is as swift to enmity, as to alliance for enmity; whereof THE PYTHONS put:

10. All this is the reason that, the sinuous rock of THE STEPHEN HAWKING BUILDING &c. I ban from these considerations of CAMBRIDGE, as though only the ploughman’s pains, the reaper’s and thresher’s toil, the brewer’s sweat, the townie’s broken bottle.

11. When 'tis done, the most blinded of contenders cannot miss several abstract Notions, which draw together, like droplets on a pane, to construct a General Character, purified of those influences, from which proceed UKPoetry's ballast of ballots. And yet, because poets are so undetermined in our nominal essences, which we make ourselves, if several were to be asked concerning some oddly-shaped foetus as soon as born, whether it were a poet or no, it is past doubt one should meet with different answers, which could not happen if the nominal essences whereby we limit and distinguish the species of substances were not made by poets with some liberty, but were exactly copies from precise boundaries set by nature.

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