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ANDREW SCHELLING / A BIOREGIONAL POETRY CLASS AT NAROPA
ecopoetics 1

I could swim around in Andrew Schelling’s essay for quite awhile. Let me just take a couple of quotes out of context to wrap this up.

Topic: the different styles of Basho, Buson, and Issa, sometimes referred to by Japanese critics as exemplifying religion, art, and life, respectively.

Interesting classifications for poetry. Where would your poetry fit? religion, art, or life? Makes me want to read Issa.

…Jerome Rothenberg’s thesis in Technicians of the Sacred, that the shaman (tribal individual charged with redressing individual & social imbalance) stands as the archaic figure behind the poet. Song or poem as ritual device—gift from spirit world, not poet’s ‘voice’—hence found text. The poem a central element in the medicaments, to restore a condition of health to the individual or social body? Can the poet today redress social imbalance with a poem?

I like the connection between poet and shaman. It infuses poetry with more of the magical effectiveness that I want to be there. I want poetry to go beyond art form to practice that works. At the same time, I’m filled with doubt and want to answer the questions in that paragraph “No.” However – who cares if the answer is Yes or No? we do what we do with what we have.

The essay closes with a list of
DISCUSSION TOPICS / BIOREGIONAL POETRY
(FOR PERFORMANCE)

I’m not sure what is meant by “For Performance,” but putting that aside, this is quite a list. I like lists. I like making wildly proliferative lists like this. It might be an interesting exercise to write a list in response, with each of these items triggering a companion in my list. Maybe a post for another day.

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