Sunday, March 5, 2017

Cinemism and Collagism

Cinemism and Collagism

Collagism is a more accurate term to describe the poetic principle behind Modernism, Postmodernism, and Metamodernism.

In 2002, I devised the term Cinemism to describe my personal poetic principle that shapes how I compose poems by employing the basic techniques of cinema for the narrative art of telling stories of human action in verse which hearkens back to the classical style of the great epic poets of the past, such as Homer, Ovid, Vyasa, Ferdowsi, Dante, Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, and many others.

I have devoted my entire poetic career to creating a personal paradigm which explains the complexity of human psychology within the context of the natural physics of the universe, and designing the poetics of Cinemism in contrast to Collagism in order to compose a coherent linear narrative that organizes the chaotic landscapes of human experience into my epic poem, the Hermead, which presents the lives and ideas of philosophers as the universal experience of human kind in our search for wisdom of truth based on facts we can verify through logical analysis of perception.

The following extensive quote from an essay written around 1972 by David Antin, discussing linear narratives from chaotic landscapes of human experience, presents the poetic principle of Collagism that have dominated poetry the past century. While I have written many Collagist poems, I have been developing Cinemism as a better method for composing narrative poetry.

Radical Cohereny: Selected Essays
on Art and Literature, 1966 to 2005
Pages 168-170

Modernism and Postmodernism:
Approaching the Present in Modern American Poetry
David Antin

There are two verbal habits or strategies that Auden has always employed and that these poets regard as fundamental categories of the modern mind: appeals to "history" and to psychoanalysis. Talking about Eliot in a 1955 essay Schwartz refers to a "sense of existence which no human being, and certainly no poet, can escape, at this moment in history, or at any moment in the future which is likely soon to succeed the present." According to Schwartz two aspects of this "view of existence which is natural to a modern human being" are "the development of the historical sense and the awareness of experience which originate in psychoanalysis." Though the awareness of experience originating in psychoanalysis may seem somewhat fin de siecle or Wagnerian to us now, what Schwartz means by this is fairly clear. What he means by the "historical sense" is not so clear. One would normally suppose a historical sense to consist of some view of the relations between sequentially related epochs. Marxism supplies a kind of eschatological view of history and Auden frequently refers to this, along with several other views which are by no means consistent with it. Still, if you look for it, you can find several historical sense along with several ahistorical senses in Auden's poetry. But a "historical sense" is the one thing you cannot find in poems like The Waste Land or the Cantos, which we may assume Schwartz would have considered the principal modern works. The Waste Land and the Cantos are based on the principle of collage, the dramatic juxtaposition of disparate materials without commitment to explicit syntactical relations between elements. A historical sense and psychoanalysis are structurally equivalent to the degree that they are in direct conflict with the collage principle. They are both strategies for combating the apparently chaotic collage landscapes of human experience and turning them into linear narratives with a clearly articulated plot. It is not easy to see what advantage such systems offer a poet unless he was convinced of their truth, which would, I suppose, mean either that it would be relevant to some purpose to use these systems as conceptual armatures upon which to mount the diverse and colorful individual facts of sociopolitical and personal human experience, or else that these systems conformed more perfectly than any other with a vaster system of representations to which the poet was committed for some valued reason. If this is what Schwartz intended we would be confronted with a truly "classical" poetry which would devote itself to the particularization of general truths. While we might imagine such a poetry, we have never really been confronted with it. The poets of Schwartz's generation never presented anything like the kind of detailed particularity of human or political experience in their poems that would have been a necessary condition for such a poetry of metonymy. Even if the poems had fulfilled this necessary condition, such a poetry would require either a commonly accepted theory of history or psychoanalysis or at least a precise knowledge of the details of such a theory and the additional knowledge that such a theory was being referred to, as well as a set of rules for referring the concrete particularities of experience to particular aspects of the theory. Such a situation only obtains for a few people in narrowly circumscribed areas of what we generally call science; that is to say, it obtains only for those who share what Thomas Kuhn in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions calls a paradigm. Even in a rather trivially reduced form of this situation such as The Waste Land, where Eliot has himself advised us that the poem is built on the plan of a particular mythical narrative, there is no agreement on the way the particular parts of the poem relate to the myth. There is so little agreement on this that most critics who are involved with such concerns cannot decide whether the poem does or doesn't include the regeneration that is intrinsic to the myth.

For better or worse "modern" poetry in English has been committed to a principle of collage from the outset, and when "history" or psychoanalysis are invoked they are merely well labeled boxes from which a poet may select ready-made contrasts. ... In the main, poets have not resorted to a sense of history or to psychoanalysis because of the successes of these viewpoints in reducing human experience to a logical order, but because the domains upon which they are normally exercised are filled with arbitrary and colorful bits of human experience, which are nevertheless sufficiently framed to yield a relatively tame sort of disorder.

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