David Jones (1895-1974) was one of those I was in awe of back in the day when I was first trying to make sense of poetry (I'm still trying). In particular, his book-length poems, or fragmented wholes, In Parenthesis and The Anathémata, inhabited the same mysterious country as the Cantos or the Maximus Poems: long works, poems that "included history" that I couldn't really understand but somehow connected with in disconnected ways. Not too many of my contemporaries were even attempting such vast syntheses of language, form and culture, Allen Fisher being one notable exception. What I identified with in Jones was his insistence on the materiality of language and all its associations; as he wrote in the preface to The Anathémata : "But, for the poet, the woof and warp, the texture, feel, ethos, the whole matière comprising that complex comprises also, or in part comprises, the actual material of his art." Jones was, of course, not only one of the maj
Showing posts from December, 2015
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Unthank Books asked me to do one of those books-of-the-year roundups, specifically requesting I say something about five books I actually read during the year, regardless of when they were published, rather than puffing new releases. So here, along with those of some fellow Unthank authors, are my choices .