Tuesday, 13 April 2010

the rightness of wayward sentiment

People often ask me where the name for this blog, the rightness of wayward sentiment, came from. I suspect they think it's symbolic of my massive ego slash perception of my self as a bit, and I quote, off beat.

There's a clue to its origins in the very first post I ever posted on this blog. At the time I began RWS I was borderline obsessed with the work of the marvellously mental Modernist post, J. H. Prynne, who incidentally is still one of my favourite poets and the phrase is taken from, "A New Tax on the Counter-Earth", one of my most-loved poems in his collected works (get a copy if you can, it's wonderful).

Here's the last stanza from the poem:

Then the possible seems
a paltry art: "the perceptual events of the dream
produce a partial or temporary reduction in the
state of need current in the organism." Whether
partial or temporary they release gratitude, the
moment of joy self-induced as desire turned back
into a globe itself infolding like a sun, or like
a moon, or like a universe of starry majesty.
"The spot was the one which
he loved best in all the world."
And such affection curdles the effort to be just,
the absolute perception spreads calm into the air
and the air works like a sea. The horizon is lit
with the rightness of wayward sentiment, cash
as a principle of nature. And cheap at the price.

There you go. Mystery solved. Now you know my secret.

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