from The Fatalist: The best words get said frequently‚ they are like fertile pips.

By Lyn Hejinian b. 1941 Lyn Hejinian
The best words get said frequently—they are like fertile pips.   
Apples fall heavily to the ground and lie in the sun, their scent   
abandoning them as a philosophy which cannot be further perfected. Love
releases playful sensations even from serious things providing a life
to think about. Take R—the only thing
R could credit herself with was having lived
her life and so she not only kept an account of it
but did so not in the privacy of a diary but in the form of letters
—abundant, profligate, indiscrete—that I want to write   
to you so as to note something that I read
this morning: “It’s not that this or that means something
to me but this!—or that!—means something to me.” Musically
R bequeaths herself to posterity as a scholar might
bequeath his or her library blowing twisted veils of rain
past the narrow and curving windows in the last hour that will carry us along
to the time when those who come after us will learn
what we know—a man with a mustache waxed and dyed   
green, a line of tall people and a woman at the door, a committee
of children without scooters but not mournful, a poet with a motive, a pilot
with a flashlight, a sulking but fascinated scholar, and Goethe no doubt
for whom R would have released a flock of red canaries.

Lyn Hejinian, “The best words get said frequently—they are like fertile pips.” from The Fatalist. Copyright © 2003 by Lyn Hejinian. Reprinted with the permission of Omnidawn Publishing, www.omnidawn.com.

Source: The Fatalist (Omnidawn Publishing, 2003)

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Poet Lyn Hejinian b. 1941

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Nature, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Lyn  Hejinian

Biography

A founding figure of the Language writing movement of the 1970s, and an influential force in the world of experimental and avant-garde poetics, Lyn Hejinian’s poetry is characterized by an unusual lyricism and descriptive engagement with the everyday. Like most Language writing, her work enacts a poetics that is theoretically sophisticated. While Language writing is stylistically diverse and, as a movement, difficult to reduce . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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