Actually I don't think I have much to say about Jack Spicer's Language after all!

Here is what I will say: It reads like a book that was at some point avant-garde. It is a collection of short verses gathered into longer poems gathered into a short book. And, like hundreds, maybe thousands of books and chapbooks that are published each year, it is a poetry of working out an idea or two. It is essayistic. It is a thinking-through. The last two lines (two words, even) spell out the intersection: "That time leaves us / Words, loves." But baseball, the death of JFK, and whatever else was at hand is mixed in as well. But I think what separates Language from those hundreds or thousands of books of experimental poetry is that Spicer doesn't seem primarily concerned about his thinking-through. He does not want to impress you with the quality of his thought process, or his insights, or the intersections of ideas that he is making -- though some of them are of quality. Instead of connecting ideas, he's connecting lines of poetry. The ideas just happen to be there, when they are. He would, I suspect, jettison an interesting idea if it would lead to a more interesting combination of words.

I've edited this from the sort of post I abhor to the sort of post I merely detest, so I'll sign off now. Go read the famous opening section or listen to him read the whole book. I can't find all of part 3 of "Morphemics" online ("Moon, / cantilever of sylabbles / If it were spelled 'mune' it would not cause madness.") but it's particularly choice.



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