[lit-ideas] Re: Erin's Course Dilemma

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 02:09:30 -0500

John: No language, no meaning.

Eric: Can we say that, without language, objects are their own meaning?

John Ashbery seems to be saying something like this in his famous poem, 
copied below. (Check out the second and third stanzas particularly.)


Some Trees
by John Ashbery

These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though speech
Were a still performance.
Arranging by chance

To meet as far this morning
 From the world as agreeing
With it, you and I
Are suddenly what the trees try

To tell us we are:
That their merely being there
Means something; that soon
We may touch, love, explain.

And glad not to have invented
Some comeliness, we are surrounded:
A silence already filled with noises,
A canvas on which emerges

A chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
Place in a puzzling light, and moving,
Our days put on such reticence
These accents seem their own defense.

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