As between leaves the breeze,
Speaking with vagueness, with purity
Of the remembered and the forgotten
Who've become legendary with time.
Luis Cernuda El arpa Madrid 1937
trans. Marshall Hryciuk (Franklieocygnatra) To H.:
There’s a kind word for vagueness in this poem.
People almost always dismiss vagueness as
a weakness, an insidious thing.
I'm for vagueness.
I've realized that children love abstraction
and vagueness far more than adults do.
To be adult is to get down to brass tacks.
Kids love ideas.
Abstraction and vagueness are not the same.
Ideas tend to abstraction; some abstractions
are vague; some real things are vague; some
ideas are vague. Real vague things are great.
Vague ideas are not so, but can be useful
and slippery; vague abstractions
may be all we've got.
For example, what are you doing out of bed at this hour?
is a pretty non-vague question, but its answer
is probably threaded through vaguenesses
we don't explore too carefully
like the nature of the time difference between us,
the unclear reasons why
we're still up on this full-moon night.
I guess most ideas are vague at their inception, and
become clearer, sometimes to their detriment.
Ideas about real things is what we are concerned with,
and we do it in very different ways - I tend to work through
abstraction and representation, while you find the metal in
the heart and lay it on the table for all to see.
Richard writes of “the sacred not paralyzingly contained”:
here’s some further thinking about vagueness and occulting,
upon which I will pontificake here:
Vague: French for "wave".
insight comes in waves.
people get frustrated, resentful sometimes
if you send them one wave
and it's not followed by any others
so they can come to attention,
and get the wavelength.
They have already to have been attentive.
to challenge a reader to set (his/her) own wavelength
on the basis of your initial impulse-wave
is not reasonable.
waves issue out of the occult.
The occult is that which is not visible, not ocular.
People think when something is vague, it's because
you're engaged in subterfuge, in occulting.
It's the opposite.
You're engaged in unveiling,
but it happens in waves,
and the waves are often singular.
Sometimes they get followed up later.
Why should anyone take an interest in a single wave?
Because often it carries all the information
of the frequency bundled in itself.
This is just physics,and simple
(but very incisive) observation.
What makes an incisive observation?
The ability to stop time.
The illusion of the passage of time
is a deliberate device we have imposed on ourselves,
whose side-effect is to occult individual moments.
Training allows a person to isolate moments.
A poet may isolate moments,
then attempt to reproduce
them for the reader by providing a wave.
This takes skill because to make the wave un-wavelike
(not vague), requires repeating the wave
as if it were not frozen in time, but the same wave repeating.
This is not the nature of what lies
veiled in the occult, it’s just a simulation.
We can simulate wave activity by asking questions,
That's all for now. It's vague, but it's the best I can do today.