Haiku and Absoluteness

the poet fixes

each petal’s absoluteness

as it’s blown away

The space of the poem is “the between” — between the absolutes of perfect being and nothingness. This is of course nonsense — such absolutes can’t really be named but they are implicit in the nature of experience, which is mixed, heterogenous, full of gaps and differences.

Once we “fix” an absolute it disappears: no longer absolute, like one of Nabokov’s butterfly specimens.

Poetry is scandalous because it just goes ahead with the project of thinking “in the between,” accepting the “fertile void” of the origin of experience. As Sidney wrote in one of the original documents of our poetry: poetry nothing affirmeth.




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