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John Kinsella discussing Morpheus, his forthcoming BlazeVOX book on the Southerly Blog


The Eternal Work-in-Progress

graph_abstractby John Kinsella,

Writing Morpheus in my late teens went hand-in-hand with a fascination on my part for long, cumulative works of poetry. In Morpheus, through the character of Thomas, I was subtextually mapping possible approaches to creating the work-in-progress, with its echoes of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Also, though I despised him politically, like many of the ‘left’ I felt intrigued and compelled by Ezra Pound’s unfinishable life-work, The Cantos. I have a strong scepticism of Pound these days, but he convinced me, along with Olson’s Maximus Poems and Zukofsky’s ‘A’, that anything we write is inevitably part of what we will write in the future. The interconnectedness of literary writing became an obsession for me. (This was the case for me even with Emily Dickinson’s Poems, which in their editing, and the fights over their publication or presentation, gave the sense of a collection of smaller self-contained poems yet also of one long, growing body of work that might be read as a single poems in many parts.)

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