Sunday, July 13, 2008

Prefaces & Parallels - Jacques Dupin & Paul Auster

Portrait of Jacques Dupin. Francis Bacon. (courtesy of

"... for the poem can be born only when all chances for its life have been destroyed."

"Dominated by stone, mountain, farm implements, and fire, the geography is cruel, built of the barest materials, and human presence can never be taken for granted in it. It must be won. Generated by a desire to join what forbids him a place and to find a dwelling within it, the Dupin poem is always on the other side: the limit of the human step, the fruit of a terrestrial harrowing."

"The strength that Dupin speaks of is not the strength of transcendence, but of immanence and realization. The gods have vanished, and there can be no question of pretending to recover the divine logos."

- Paul Auster (The Art of Hunger)


Grand Vent ( High Wind)

We only belong to the mountain path

meandering under the sun between sage and lichen

rising at night, a borderline path

towards constellations,

we have enabled tops to come close to each other

the limit of arable lands

seeds burst in our fists

flames into our bones

Let manure rise all the way to us on men's backs

Let vine and rye answer

to the volcano's old age

the fruits of pride, the fruits of basalt

will ripe under the blows

that make us visible

Flesh will endure what the eye suffered from

what wolves never dreamt

before flowing on to the sea.

-Jacques Dupin, 1963

"The fundamental movement of the poem is to move painfully towards the highest which is also the emptiest, to direct onself towards the scarce, the rare, nay, the unbreathable. The purpose is to climb towards an air burrow or a kind of open sky deposit where the inside of man himself up there, very high, becomes a landscape where the obscure and the secret unfold in light."

(poem and quote courtesy of Jean-Michel Maulpoix & Co. - Modern French Literture)


image courtesy of

To shatter, to retake, and thus, to rebuild. In the forest we are closer to the woodcutter than to the solitary wanderer. No innocent contemplation. No high forests crossed by sunlight and the songs of birds, but their hidden future: cords of wood.

- Jacques Dupin

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