new zealand electronic poetry centre

Michael Harlow



Statement from Edges

Originally published in Edges (Athens: Lycabettus Press, 1974)

A poem writes me as much as I it. A simple enough but political idea, too. I’m fairly certain there are poems around us all the time. The air is charged with them. How to keep them from turning into rehearsals for heavy weather forecasts is another thing. How a poem travels – the travelling is a process, extending from beginning back to beginning. ‘Becoming is as important as being,’ said Klee. A poem is as much about itself as any set thing. Through language, listening . . . learning how much to let into the poem, hearing its shape, measuring the distance to stand away from it. And the voices change: through permutation, contradiction, doubt, risk. Not stories but constructs: a making visible. To be present with the imagination of a poem is to take part in a creation story; a rite as old and as telling as the distance it takes a circle to discover itself.

Michael Harlow

Last updated 24 March, 2005