Tier 3

music / / poetry / / philosophy / / -ology by Nick Courtright

The Nature of Publication: Misreading Bidart

Yesterday I was revisiting Frank Bidart’s newest book, Watching the Spring Festival, and I came across these lines that, though he almost certainly didn’t have our discussion of submission in mind, strike me as relevant:

By exorcism / you survived. By submission, then making.

They are from the poem “Old Man at the Wheel,” and I think, if you badly interpret his assumed intentions, you could make an argument that submission always comes before making, and thus, the whole of the argument is unnecessary, because, after all, you submitted yourself before you even wrote a word.  But of course, that’s a mangling, and though quite possibly true (at a level), it’s also a bit unpleasant to carry with you through the day.


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