4.03.2009

from conversations on wompo

Siri Von Reis was doing a project on Peter Kalm's travel in Canada about exactly 20 years ago. Siri is a poet, but also a PhD in Botany from Harvard (I think). In any case, Kalm was a Linnean. The project had two problems, one of which she remedied -- the poems were found in the translation, not in the original wedish. I believe since Siri knows Swedish, she did some of her own translations, and also went to the original Swedish. Or not. I expect some of these appeared in magazines, but I didn't see them.

The other problem -- and note, I did read these in very early draft -- was that they were horribly Freudian. Freudian symbology was often the shaig mechanism for the choosing.

on wompo, discussing "erasure" which is nearly identical to most found poetry (poems made from taking aay words and context, rather than choosing words and removing them from the original context), a project was mentioned that uses a text from a British man in India in the 1850s about flowers. The "erasure" or found poem is intended to be a love poetry to India from the flowers. The inspiration to this project is Yedda Morrison's Darkness Chapter 1: http://littleredleaves.com/ebooks/darkness.pdf

here is a new gnoetry / heart of darkness poem cycle
http://www.beardofbees.com/pubs/a_light_heart_its_black_thoughts.pdf

so I think I'll review both together, and togther with the author notes, mostly invlved with post colonialism

More background, other than Siri Von Reis: one of the poems in my book DaDaDa is the parts where Spenser dscribes his fiancee in Amoretti. It is not the richest work of found poetry I've done, but in it, not only do you see that the bride is a monster, but also, the way in which "her fearful eyen" are not power, but under the male gaze, become a sort of vagina dentata.

My concern about the structure of the project as described is that it simply reinscribes the stereotypical tropes women = other = colony and women = sex = flowers = love, while also reinscribing the prejudiced male writer who wrote -- inthe midst of perhaps more important female writers who then, therefore, are not receiving scant artistic attention. Too, the 1850s is 100 years past the Linnean / first British Colonial period in India, and about 200 years past the Linnean explorers I know most about, those in Canada. Not that the female flower writers did not know the Latin!!! Many of them did, even when they insisted they didn't for defensive reasons -- to avoid harsh criticism for attempting to compete in a scholarly or scientific realm, in some cases.

My current female "explorer" used the british museum "fish and fetish" gathering rubric to gain some legitimizing / authority during her journey; she also, in the fish case, claims not to know precisely what-all sciencey, though she gthered specimins of unique lizards, for example.

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