Desire’s Emergency

Form emerges as the poem takes shape in time. The energy of this emergency is desire. Jaccottet’s ‘nothing’—- (Nothing at all, a footfall on the road,/yet more mysterious than guide or god.) Mahon Trans. Nothing has become a symbol in our time susceptible to many interpretations. It takes a connoisseur. Jaccottet was devoted to the Earth (we will not have done with symbols!). In Char’s word, he was a ‘requalified man.’ (See Selected Poems, translated by Derek Mahon, Wake Forest University Press, 1988).

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