Page 47 - Jack Foley | The true litterateur
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At the same time, however, I wish the poem to be a display of skill: the idea of
                craft  is  by  no  means  entirely  subsumed  in  the  idea  of  transformation.  The
                poem is rehearsed; we are careful in performance that the two voices end at
                exactly  the  same  time—a  fact  which  the  audience  always  notices  and
                comments  on.  That  the  poem  is  meant  as  a  kind  of  religious  experience  is
                suggested  by  its  constant  parallels—somewhat  blasphemous  ones—to  the
                Catholic  Mass.  The  poem  maintains  itself  throughout  in  a  deep  openness
                —“Voices  of  the  sea”;  it  contains  even  a  strictly  rhymed  passage—another
                deliberate instance of “skill.”

                “Chorus:  SON(G)”  is  also,  deeply,  a  California  poem—not  least  because  it
                mentions East Oakland (where I live). The intensity and diversity of the West
                Coast—even the ocean, which Kerouac attempted to mime at the conclusion
                of Big Sur—is present in it. It is tender, fierce, and in a certain sense violent:

                “at large in the world.”

                                          “Chorus: SON(G)”

                      AUDIO PRESS THE HEAR BUTTON TO


                                                 JACK FOLEY

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