Anecdote of the Jar
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.
The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.
It took dominion every where.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.
Throw something at it and see if it sticks. I like Helen Vendler’s interpretation….
What do you do with an uncivilized, wild land? Import European learning and literature “atop” it?
The nature/culture divide? Nature is wonderful but it is to culture where we must return. If you are an artist, you turn towards direct experience in this land, but…you also turn to that which inspires you…European learning and thought….the products of other cultures.