On the Control of Movement through Image, pt. 3

Self-portrait in a convex Mirror
Image via Wikipedia

In the case of longer poems, movement control through image becomes a much more involved task. John Ashbery assumes this task in his long poem, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” which reflects on Parmigianino’s painting of the same name. While the impetus for Ashbery’s poem is ekphrastic, and he returns often to this originating source, he eschews the traditional impulse to control the movement through narrative or language. Most longer poems rely on either narrative (as in epic poems), or rhythm/rhyme constructions (as in ballads) to control their movement. Ashbery, in contrast, uses image to control the movement of his poem. Because this method is non-linear and a-logical, teasing out the movement of the poem can become difficult, as has already been shown.

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On Controlling Movement through Image, pt. 2

Pound writes in his essay “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste” that “an image is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time” (200). In the next issue of Poetry, Pound provides a succinct example with his poem “In a Station of the Metro.” Each line presents an intricate image, and to extend Pound’s imperative, creates that “emotional and intellectual complex” in the interplay between the two images:

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition       of these faces       in the crowd   :

Petals      on a wet, black    bough   . Continue reading “On Controlling Movement through Image, pt. 2”

Thoughts on AWP 2011

The AWP conference concluded yesterday evening with several great events.  I could only go to one of them, but heard about a couple of the others.  I got a lot out of the conference, and for some of my initial thoughts, you can check out the blog entries I did for TriQuarterly Online.  I will be posting more of my thoughts here over the next few days, but for now check things out there.