Thursday, January 25, 2018

antipoet nicanor parra is dead at 103
'i take back everything i said'

what more can i say but of course i'll say it.  for nicanor parra is an important poet in my life.  his antipoetry showed me that poetry can be made from the raw materials from slang, pop music and movie as much as it is made from hi culture.  parra is that most duchampian of poets whose thinking listed toward questioning our assumptions of what makes speech and who might own it whether it is spoken or written.  for all language is owned by everyone.  that which is uttered in air, or printed in ink or pixels, is made by everyone.

and yet, it is parra's singular ability to find the funny in even the most awful of things and times.  and brothers and sisters these are awful times.  these are also the best times to be alive and a creative person.  nicanor parra's long life and his work is proof of that.  the antipoet lived to be 103.  we were lucky to have him on earth for that long.

when i got my smart phone i wrote to a poet friend, another acolyte of antipoetry, that i think parra would've dug the new technology.  he could use it to record overheard speech and publish his antipoems directly via texts to friends and social media.  and i'm sure he would have had some choice words to say about such devices and social media.

maybe parra knew about smart phones and hated them.  that would be fitting for an antipoet too.  he's gone from us.  but there is no need to mourn.  parra lived a very long life for a human.  we have his antipoems.  that is more than enough.  consider it lucky that we lived at a time when nicanor parra was alive.

if you don't know parra's work you would do well to become acquainted with it.  if you don't care for his work, i'm sure that attitude would've been okay with parra too.  for when we speak and write we are all expressions of our own poetry and antipoetry.  our tasks as human beings is to avoid being assholes to each other, and keep it funny.



At 9:02 AM, Blogger C Duffy said...

103!~ holy cow!

At 9:03 AM, Blogger C Duffy said...

I think of us as antipoets too Richard.


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