Invisible Architecture (2000)
There is an invisible architecture often supporting
the surface of the poem, interrupting the progress of the poem. It reaches
into the poem
in search for an identity with the poem,
its object is to possess the poem for a brief time, even as an apparition appears. An invisible architecture upholds the poem while allowing a moment of relaxation for the unconscious. A period of emotional suggestion,
of reliance on the conscious substitute words pushed toward the bridge of the architecture. An architecture in the period before the poem finds an exact form and vocabulary—,
before the visible appearance of the poem on the page and the invisible approach to its composition. Reaching out to develop the poem there are interruptions, some apparently for no reason—something else is happening the poet has no control—the poem begins to quiver, to hesitate, to become insubstantial the desire of poetry to elevate itself, to become stronger. The poem is fragile. It needs to reach through the armed vehicle of the poem,
to loosen the armed hand.
Losing the arrogance of dominion over the poem to an invisible hand, the poet campaigns for a passage over which the poet has control. Yet the unstableness of the poem is important.
Also the frequent lapses of control of the poem.
The writer only slowly retains power over the poem, physical power, when the poem breaks away from the authority of the invisible architecture.
This invisible authority may be the unconscious that dwells on the lower level, in a substratum beneath the surface of the poem and possesses its own reference. A fluidity only enters the poem when it becomes more openly aware of itself.
By whom or by what agency is the behavior of the poem suggested, by what invisible architecture, we ask, is the poem developed. The Surrealists taught us to wander freely on the page, releasing mechanical birds, if we so desire, to nest in the invisible handwriting of composition. There is always something within poetry that desires the invisible.
The desire of the poet to control. This control was earlier destructive to the interior of the poem, to its infrastructure. There is something deliberate about this practice of control by the conscious. It includes the question that is undefined, the behavior of the poem. By whom or by what agency is this decided, by what invisible architecture is the poem developed?
Barbara Guest rose to prominence in the late 1950s as a member of an informal group of writers known as the New York school of poets whose membership included Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, and James Schuyler. Their innovative approach to poetry was influenced by modern art, especially surrealism and abstract...
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