Friday, April 22, 2011

an easter piece

jan zwicky: practising bach (bourée)


Partita, partie -- a whole of many parts. Pythagoras, who is said to have studied with the Egyptians, is also said to have taught that enlightenment meant solving the problem of the One and the Many, of coming to grasp the divine unity of the world through its bits and pieces, as these come to us in language.

   This may also be thought of as the problem of metaphor: that metaphor's truth, its charge of meaning, depends on assertion of identity and difference, on erotic coherence and referential strife, on meaning as resonance and meaning revealed through analysis.

   Lyric poets are always trying to approach the issue by forcing speech to aspire to the conditions of music. Bach comes at it from the other end: he infuses music with a sense of the terrible concreteness, the particularity, of the world. And enlightenment? -- Acceptance of, delight in, the mystery of incarnation.

and now, click on this link to hear the bourée.

Zwicky, Jan. "Practising Bach" The Best Canadian Poetry in English. Markham: Tightrope Books, 2009.