Herr Stimmung on Transparency

By Keith Waldrop b. 1932 Keith Waldrop
To those of a certain temperament, there is nothing worse than the
thought of something hidden, secret, withheld from their knowing—
especially if they suspect that another knows about it and has even,
perhaps, connived at keeping it concealed.

    D. H. Lawrence seems to have been irritated no end by the thought
that people were having sex and not telling him.

    Freud too.

   —Ah but then Freud arranged it so that everyone had to tell.

    His psychoanalysis lights up the depths, makes our tangled web
transparent, to the point where I can see all the way down to It.

    And the process moves outward in increasing rings:

    The Master analyses his disciples. Who thereby—transparent
now—become masters and, in turn, take on others, patients or
disciples, to analyse.

    So that eventually there are no secrets.

    Except, of course, those of the first Master, the Self-Analysed.

    Which is to say, the only private One, sole Unrevealed. Opaque
center of His universal panopticon.

    While we see only His words, His daughter, His cigar.

    Poor Lawrence.

Keith Waldrop, “Herr Stimmung on Transparency” from The House Seen from Nowhere. Copyright © 2002 by Keith Waldrop. Reprinted by permission of Litmus Press.

Source: The House Seen from Nowhere (Litmus Press, 2002)

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Poet Keith Waldrop b. 1932

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Language & Linguistics

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Biography

Keith Waldrop, who was awarded the 2009 National Book Award for poetry for Transcendental Studies: A Trilogy, has been a prominent voice in American poetry for over forty years.  He is the author of over a dozen books of poetry, prose, and translations. With Rosmarie Waldrop he co-edits Burning Deck Press.

Waldrop was born in Emporia, Kansas in 1932. He enrolled in the pre-med program at Kansas State Teacher’s College, but his . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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