Is there any value outside the poem which as ‘value’ resists nihilistic deconstruction? I adopt the concept of asymmetry to suggest a difference between my metaxological criticism and formalism.
Guillevic’s lyric, translated by Denise Levertov (Selected Poems, New Directions) suggests something about form in lyric large and small. The address of the other establishes a shared between, and betweens literally depend on shaping forces beyond our control. Time/Eternity; life/death; darkness/light. The movement of lyric from knowns and givens to unknowns and gift inscribes a narrative reaching beyond the between of the poem. Reaching as in not overtaking. The final embrace of a radical other exceeding our embrace is a ‘formal fact’ about the lyric. We know this from our efforts to pin down THE meaning. And since this ‘formal fact’ is an affective aspect of our readerly care for the poem, we might adopt a phrase from William Desmond, the ‘agapeic’ origin of the poem.