This is Timothy O'Keefe's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Timothy O'Keefe's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Timothy O'Keefe
Recent Activity
There is too much for this title, I understand. It presumes giving, having been given, and the nerve to identify the extent & result of that reception. This is folly; this is precisely the false humility I spoke of earlier in the blogging week. There you are, Tim, caught in your own abstract web. Ha, ha. Carry on as you would, having said nothing at all. Or next to nothing, since you cannot not carry on. Sometimes, it is this simple: "And we didn't die in childhood!" When I was young, I was a pitcher. The last game I ever... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
from Hamlet: Gertrude: To whom do you speak this? Hamlet: Do you see nothing there? Gertrude: Nothing at all, yet all that is I see. Nothing is a noun, as in, “The world was created out of nothing.” Nothing is an adjective, as in, “I work nothing jobs to pay the rent.” Nothing is an adverb, as in, “You look nothing like your father.” Nothing is also a pronoun, as in, “What are you laughing at?” “Oh, nothing.” Can we distinguish between seeing nothing and not seeing anything? If I’m outside on a sunny day and I close my eyes,... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
The earth has many keys. Where melody is not Is the unknown peninsula. Beauty is nature's fact. But witness for the land, And witness for the sea, The cricket is her utmost Of elegy to me. -Emily Dickinson Yesterday I wrote about humility in poetry, a process by which one recognizes the moment of awestruck language (in mind and speech) and one's inability to say anything definitive for that moment. One responds without "speaking to"—there is no authority, because there is no seeking after consequence. Instead, consequence finds the moment of articulation, the sphere of its purity. Can't the same... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
“Poetry is the impossibility of plainness, in plainest form.” —Susan Howe I come back to Howe’s definition often and eagerly. For reassurance, for solidarity, for hope. It seems to me a singular, aphoristic feat: concision without reductivism, prescription without presumption. It says that we cannot circumscribe this world of experience, nor should we attempt to. Instead, we attempt to speak in that humility—and what is impossiblity if not the acknowledgement of humility? We speak, it says, for the awe of that moment. The moment itself is not meant for us, nor is it meaningful as such. After all, what I... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
In his essay "Language/Mind/Writing," Alan Davies writes, "The mind is the actions in thought of a life." In The Passion According to G.H., Clarice Lispector writes: “When living is realized, the question will be asked: but was that all there was to it? And the answer: that isn’t all there is, it is exactly what there is to it.” T.S. Eliot, from the “Little Gidding” section of Four Quartets: We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. In her poem... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
The sun is never more or less bright. It is more or less obstructed. A parable. The urge to feed nostalgia. Is this different from nostalgia itself? Impulse versus aftermath. A temptation, but devoid of ecstasy. The impulse tells us we might live again—an uncanny resemblance—and if we live again, will it really be us there, or will we skulk along the periphery with half-clenched fists? Like a voyeur in the mirror. A narcissist, but no one looks back. They look continually past—past doubt, past what-if, past the day you left, left them bereft, on the brink, slightly bemused. We... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
It takes just one awful second, I often think, and an entire epoch passes. —Sebald In the smallest of intervals, one discovers the indefinite change. I love the dizzying blur of time in Sebald’s quote, but more than that, I love to imagine that second. To populate its momentary world. See: the second after a hand stops waving. See: the seconds between rain leaving the clouds and, “Hey, it’s raining.” See: not the seconds that measure lightning from its thunder, but the precise waving of those treetops. In Euripides’ The Bacchae, Dionysus places the young king Pentheus at the top... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Timothy O'Keefe is now following The Typepad Team
Apr 27, 2012