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But at the same time, you are stuck with language, and you arc stuck with words, and you are stuck with the things that you know. It’s a very nice thing, and a very difficult thing. The more you know, the more languages you know, the more building blocks the Martians have to play with. It’s harder, too, because an uneducated person often can write a better poem than an educated person, simply because there are only so many building blocks, so many ways of arranging them, and after that, you’re through. I mean, the thing behind you is through. And it can make for simplicity, as in good ballads, American and English. In the long run, it can make for really just good poetry. And sometimes for great poetry, an infinitely small vocabulary is what you want. Perhaps that would be the ideal, except for the fact that it’s pretty hard to write a poem that way.

« Vancouver lectures »
The House That Jack Built : The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer
Wesleyan University Press 1998
éd. Peter Gizzi