Litkicks Message Board Archive

just encountered this

Posted to Poetry and Politics




The sound we hear from our tribe is not that different from the thousand sparrows who used to sleep in a palm tree outside my window, once. The racket was unbelievable, but the birds were only arguing about who has the right to sleep, and where.

So, in my poetry, I've tried to keep the din while still being accurate to the poise of mind that lets us know what's what. Sometimes I've called this din "Letting America speak for itself." Often it's a depressing job.

But I still have faith that if I do this right, accurately, the sound will emerge a "meaningless din of joy." Because I know that the true sound of living things, a carrot or a tribe, is meaningless, joyful, and we, singing it, know this joy.

This sound, the din of joy, is quite distinct from the sound of the Pentagon, Washington in general and especially Mr. Johnson, the fear-ridden hateful spites of J. Edgar Hoover, and the killing orders of anyone who wants to "boss" anything whether or not the work ought to be done.

It all comes down to the ring of bone. Where "ring" is what a bell does.

- Lew Welch, preface to Ring of Bone