From the Dictionary of the History of Ideas:  Mountains, Literary Attitudes Toward



On the question of mountain origin and the place of hills in the scheme of things the two greatest reformation thinkers stood opposed



The towpath put them gradual against the mountain habit,

so any disinclination visible from camp was in the scheme

drawn over the swinging bean kettle—at bottom he’d reprieve

Luther the more moonshone work of sleeping openly with

what he tends. The tradeback of assignments was

left an option and it was option that made a man behaviorally

lovely like Luther. He liked rather to say of the sheep winter

it was more minding than tending. How is it we found

ourselves here, he might ask, ever and again, our dotty flock

picking out the sun like lettering well before, in place of hills,

there was the word. Here the flap is like a rollback screen,

he tells his dream to clear it for another, meter reading aloud

the light and, what little room they have, his inward turn shows

what shepherding is, holding Calvin hard against his grace.

Pull the plate.



Worry is the misuse of imagination













From the Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Ut Pictura Poesis



As with a colonnade, repetition not only moves through space itself but, for the viewer, exists in time


The Fortinbras in one is the avenger we follow

in another. Foliage, way out a while back, and wet

still, low boughs. His horse noses through, eyes the size

of plums, and so soon. How was that supposed to sound,

overheard, until overcome? Like a poem in which ambush

I crouch, if rooting around for wide new leaves it is I, or fern

the forest floor in patchy opportunity.

The fern

in each new iteration reads the scheme, and like lace

paper pulled, overland portage fits to screen, offering hitherto

itineraries artless except for the way the mind swaps roundabout

for reconnaissant. And reverts. He wears his toque feather

above the opposite ear! We swore in the gay bar

on the gameboard of his likeness, running up

the score on whoever had been high. First sign

we saw, at the image ridge. Or at least it used to be a gay bar.


Where eventually we would decide to merge forward-dawning

with mission creep to condition horizon, which we lost

in a portmanteau, anachronism still

scales this map with vetch at the edges, in an arch,

which gives the open glade an aspect of stage

so that, and so on, the vixen might trot to her moonlit mark

mouthing the tar compound of recent kill, or

an advance man unpack his bag. This is who

we intercept, that’s the play. We wait for the sun to rezone.

With the rise of the web, poetry has met its photography

From the Dictionary of the History of Ideas:  Motif



Until the nineteenth century Englishmen habitually spoke of acting on a motive rather than acting from a motive



No sooner, like the frame, had landscape

on its own a raison d’etre than arose the demand it be

a verb. Capability Brown was a rented talent, eight stone and six,

and satisfied a clientele with expanse to an extent,

and strode a property remarking motif in the middle distance.

It’s as though he pinches from the very soil the pause, they appraised,

given in the visit. Inside, his lifespan measured more or less

the change, the withdrawing room become the drawing room.


On hunches on haunches they let us know they are cautious acting,

the bestiary we overturned on the ground we had meantime made a rink.

This one’s early on in the series, see the pronghorn’s consternation.

Speech bubble in the clearing all caps why bereave uncertainty of hope.

Nothing repeals a raison d’etre, sorry comrade. Umbrage, foreshadow. Here’s us

overseeing the meadow’s potential, nothing left of the locative,

nothing less locomotive, to mirror our thoughts: less way wending

and more windswept coif and vector, we say, more push off at the wall.

I saw he wore a tear-away smock and scheduled a second studio visit.


Scumble a stretch of even unprimed Turkish cotton duck and already

the back of the painting is not the back of the canvas.

Roll your eyes if this checks out. For a living, if.

There is another city, called Is, eight days’ journey from Babylon.

This one was going to have at the end of a road a round

of wild turkeys jumping in some tangled wire. When I say it back

the sign reads nothing repeats Pennsylvania like liberty.


Up in the corner, a terrapin falters five more inches along the perimeter

before pedalling again the earthen berm.



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