Certain Chance: Poems

Certain Chance: Poems

Certain Chance: Poems

Certain Chance: Poems

Synopsis

"Certain Chance is a rediscovery of the world that allows us to look at everyday realities - an orange, a city, an ocean, an automobile - as if the poet had placed these things in a kind of still-life painting. We see them from new perspectives that newly enable us to appreciate their color, contour, use, and meaning. Even love is seen from an unusual angle - the poet focuses on the mysterious intricacies and difficulties of intimate dialogue. As he develops these images and themes, Salinas often includes self-conscious reflections on the nature of poetic expression, the battle against the blank page, the rage for order." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The publication of these poems in English raises in my mind certain inevitable questions. Is there an audience for them? Who will that audience be? What will it be like? Poetic audience is without doubt the most difficult of all reading audiences to define in terms of vision and imagination, and one of the most difficult to visualize. the audience for poetry is a world of phantoms.

The playwright has the privilege of seeing his audience with his own eyes. It is right there before him for a few hours, inside the four walls of the theater. He can examine with his eyes the hundreds of different faces that make up the audience, take apart that complex and indistinct totality the way he might take a clock apart and examine all its tiny components one by one. He can say to himself: “The audience is that blond girl with her boyfriend, that corpulent gentleman who is half asleep, that slender, melancholy young fellow.” As the playwright looks around the whole theater, the public materializes for him, defines itself, becomes—in a manner that is almost brutal—real and concrete.

The novelist, for his part, cannot bring his readers together in one place, nor can he study their individual faces. Nevertheless, he can have an idea of who constitutes his audience. How? From its beginnings, the novel has been a form of entertainment. in the Middle Ages, knights had enemies of flesh and blood. What greater sport could there be than fighting each other? But the ladies, in their castles, faced a truly terrifying enemy: time. They had to find something to do in their idleness: they had to kill time. the novel was a marvelous weapon in the battle to conquer the hours. in spite of everything that has been added to the vast pattern of the novel, the form maintains its character of pastime, of diversion. Therefore the audience of the novel is easier to find. It can be assumed that inside every reader of novels there is someone seeking entertainment, so the readership is vast: since almost everyone in our day and age seeks distraction, almost everyone can be included in the audience for the novel.

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