Friday, March 21, 2014

a disentanglement, slow and patient of the soul’s own inner & eternal song

Robert Lax.
Photo taken by Brother Patrick Hart, on his trip to Greece in April of 1992
In his “concise statement of my project,” written as part of his application for a Guggenheim Fellowship in the mid-sixties, Lax emphasised the syllable as the key to his poetic research. He viewed the syllable as “the unit of which poems are made.” 
His work with it was part of his effort to dig under the present structures of world poetry in search of a firmer and deeper foundation  
to discover beneath the traditional modes of poetry a firmer, more universal foundation 
to discover deep in the human consciousness a firmer, more universal foundation
for the (eternal) & recurrent modes of poetry 
The spiritual aspect of this project is expressed in Lax’s description of it as “a disentanglement, slow and patient of the soul’s own inner & eternal song.”

-from Karen Alexander's "The Abstract Minimalist Poetry of Robert Lax"


  1. Not sure how this relates to Ms Alexander's and Lax's notions about poetry, but when I say "now I lay me down to sleep..." each evening before I drift off, I notice I play with each monosyllable, as if it were a stone or river, something unto itself, that is reassuring and grounding, helping me feel I'm cared for.

    1. I do something similar, James … letting the meaning of the word go (closing down my hyper active, analytical, left brain), and letting things be what they are. I like the way you put it - "as if it were a stone or river, something unto itself …"

  2. Please take a look at my blog where I posted 3 photos of Robert Lax:

    1. thank you Jose! Very interesting. I need to spend some time with this.


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