Cayley: Although not writing in ignorance of the questions that have been addressed to us and some of the responses, forgive me if, for a further contribution, I continue with a second part to the prose I began in my last posting, while nonetheless using Gilbert’s “Do you find that words are sufficient … ?” as a particular stimulus. In some sense, after all, I’m here to represent writing [in/of/for] digital[/other] media.
Could you provide a brief statement on why (if you do) you think that science/scientific discourse should be incorporated by poets not simply as a source of metaphor but as an independent discipline or set of disciplines? (If you’ve already addressed this in print in some detail, feel free to indicate where that can be found.)
Lyn Hejinian (b. 1941) is a poet, editor, and professor in the English department at UC Berkeley. In 2005, Lyn Hejinian was a Writers House fellow. An audio recording of Hejinian’s reading and discussion while in residence can be found at PennSound. What follows is a transcription of a discussion held at the Kelly Writers House on February 22, 2005.
Editorial note: Lyn Hejinian (b. 1941) is a poet, editor, and professor in the English department at UC Berkeley. She is the author of Writing Is an Aid to Memory (1978), My Life (1980, 1987, 2002), Happily (2000), and The Fatalist (2003). Her most recent book, The Book of a Thousand Eyes, is forthcoming in April 2012. She is also the author of a book of essays, The Language of Inquiry (2000).
A conversation between Robbie Wood and Andrew Dowding about Taruru: Aboriginal Song Poetry from the Pilbara, recorded on September 16, 2010.
Robbie Wood: Maybe we could start by talking about your relationship to song poetry and your connection to it, perhaps as a contemporary claimant of it in some way, and also about your relationship to it as an anthropologist and an Aboriginal person.
Andrew Dowding: The poetry that’s in that book [Taruru: Aboriginal Song Poetry from the Pilbara], some of it is really quite spiritual and quite ceremonial, but then there’s also another side of it. Some of it I’ve been connected to through a ritual that all young men go through, which is like an initiation into manhood that all young guys have to go through.