Sunday, February 23, 2014

Analysis of "Experiment in Divination: Voice and Character" by Rebecca Wolff

Original poem reprinted online here:  "Experiment in Divination: Voice and Character" by Rebecca Wolff
Originally read: August 8, 2013
More information about the Poet: Rebecca Wolff


Here's the thing with this poem.  My investment with this poem isn't necessarily to understand this poem, I think my focus is how the techniques relate against each other for example the first two lines, "There is a curiosity that knows / I know" has a sense of dual knowledge.

Meanwhile, "deathless ceiling of unknowing / I know" shows a singular knowledge.  And even though the poem has strong images and rhetoric at times, the poem is an "Experiment in Divination" where it's not about making sense, rather seeing how far one can push or withdraw.

So when the poem addresses the audience (querent) in archaic terms, I feel that the poem is asking the querent to search for basics rather than search too deeply for meaning or theme -- look at this as an experiment, "Who I ask is changing / all the time" current, "now changed" past.  Duality being played here.

"How else is one to know / How is one to know how to proceed."  Knowledge discussed in beginning is a conflict between group and singular knowledge; however, action with knowledge is hard to time.

     The course of action

     a non-reflective surface

     a playing card on a wooden picnic table
     a knot of knowing on node of playing

Don't look at the images, here the sound.  P - P - (k)N - (k)N - N - P.  The technique foreshadows the technique in the poem -- a sense of cyclical reasoning even if sporadic and note the slight shift of wording with the placement of "else" with the next two lines: "How is one to know / How else is one to know how to proceed" to create a slight difference in the cycle, but ultimately leads to the same conclusion.

"And there's forever / and that's a mighty long time"

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