And all this comes to an end,
And is not again to be met with.
I went up to the court for examination,
Tried Layu’s luck, offered the Choyu song,
And got no promotion,
And went back to the East Mountains white-headed.
And once again we met, later, at the South Bridge head.
And then the crowd broke up—you went north to San palace.
And if you ask how I regret that parting?
It is like the flowers falling at spring’s end,
confused, whirled in a tangle.
What is the use of talking! And there is no end of talking—
There is no end of things in the heart.
I call in the boy,
Have him sit on his knees to write and seal this,
And I send it a thousand miles, thinking.
Ezra Pound, Exile’s Letter, in Cathay (1916)
Language is called the Garment of Thought: however, it should rather be, Language is the Flesh-Garment, the Body, of Thought. I said that Imagination wove this Flesh-Garment; and does not she? Metaphors are her stuff: examine Language; what, if you except some few primitive elements (of natural sound), what is it all but Metaphors, recognized as such, or no
longer recognized; still fluid and florid, or now solid-grown and colourless? If those same primitive elements are the osseous fixtures in the Flesh-Garment, Language, – then are Metaphors its muscles and tissues and living integuments. An unmetaphorical style you shall in vain seek for: is not your very ‘Attention’ a ‘Stretching-to’? (Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, Ch. 11)
We can still use notions such as Burroughs’ ‘astronaut of inner space’, or Dorn’s ‘inside real and outsidereal’, though we must be aware that for the nomad-poet, the NOET, even those distinctions have to be abolished. There is no difference between inside and outside at the poem’s warp speed. We can still use Olson’s statement that the need is to move, instanter, on – but no Interzone for us, no Idaho, in or out, no Gloucester hankering for a more perfect past. (A Nomad Poetics, p. 31)
‘The rumour about the Scots sounded unlikely – though no less likely than other tales that travellers had brought them, that a Chinese army was marching on London, or that gnomes and elves and men with badger faces had been seen dancing in the woods. Scope for error and ignorance seemed to grow season by season. It would be good to know what was really happening …’. (Brian Aldiss, Greybeard)