Generate a text only version of this page
Birkbeck, University of London home page
Help with using the Birkbeck web site
Readings webjournal

Statements - That will be the day (WFW)           [1 September 2007]

- Johan de Wit


Stationed outside garrison one are a number of cluster clues. Opposed to consequences and united in schemes providing uncontroversial evidence, a step-by-step approach to understanding touches on a wide range of topics. Does gender still have a voice? Is the narrative a true substitute of the correlative? Can the presence of word themes elicit a stylised response to the aesthetics of a seaside resort? And what if “the pulse of thought implicated in language” turns out to be a roller coaster of peer pleasure? What readers hear traces the outlines of every latent or manifest discussion. Poetry can offer resistance to language but it cannot protect itself against its singular spin. All poets pay inheritance tax to poetics against a backdrop of peers on the balcony. Privilege, the vantage point of good luck and good sense, signs credit-free cards as dollops to be mastered. Language giving the impression of being poetry reminds ideology to wear a cloak: a noncustodial device to sooth the senses. When then the mouth opens like a door, the mind reads the page like a spiced sentence: cursed if you’re stoned and first if you’re emphatically present. Transparent thoughts move fast; language with its innate opacity argues about any pared-down comparison with each new generation of flame-throwers. Writing remains writing even if it writes poetry. Any amateur can profess to abstain from smiling at the hurdles but metaphors do not jump to attention when called nor when inspected. Rubber mallets go to work from one spot to the next, taking away ambition and authority, conviction and passion, insistence and obsession: hardly a recipe for directorial involvement. Seen in broad daylight poetry is language. Even if a poet works with extracurricular language, poetry is a bundle of thoughts to relay text. Wildlife and wildfire need not be separated – the two may happily engulf the reader. Poetry found in cast-iron cloth is always on its way to a crossbow section of a society sponsored by snares of light and pairs of might.


Johan de Wit

Readings webjournal, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. email: or or