An American Gothic…Or a Pound of Prevention




  • Essay


  • Manifest destiny: In “Excerpts from the Vancouver Lectures,” Jack Spicer relates the story: Yeats, 1918, a train bound for Los Angeles. His wife in a trance, automatic writing, taking dictation from “spooks.” Yeats poses the question: “What ore you here for?” And the spooks reply: “We are here to give metaphors for your poetry.”

    Poetry, according to Ezra Pound in The ABC of Reading, is language concentrated, condensed. Pound postulates that poetry “is the most concentrated form of verbal expression.” It is this metaphorical (or possibly malaphorical) condensation, this condensed cultural automatic writing, or dictation, that I strive for.