The Idea of North

The Idea of North
by Cocteau
The Idea of North.  Coldly practical.
Why are we drawn to over-the-top-stair-seriality merely to drift
into an impression of order at just keys, or to plumb tone-centers
of melodious grapes. The hunter captured by the game. It’s location.
Silver apples. It’s perdido, it’s predation. (Not a good word.)
Zo, what’s the good word? Let’s take a look at fifteen cardinal points
of preconceived (predatory) notionality:
1. Say, a/ parchéd formality in a life of manner and method.
2. Most injurious. Fire, green as grass.
3. Ingloriously speaking, the lights are much brighter there.
4. Arguably, a barn owl will kill more rats and mice around
a farm than a half-dozen house cats.
5. Ominous hedgerows. Towering-dense-topped-trees.
6. Nightjars awhirl in [an] autumn wind.
7. Surely shoals are shallow/ and, golden wheat beholden.
8. To none but the lonely heart. Yes, day/ for night.
9. A chorale of mutability in the river meadows under a clef of elm,
and… buttonwoods on the other horizon, which is a fine word indeed.
10. Then/ it shall follow as the night, the day.
11. Then, too, Goldberg Variations.
12. Through low stars, cushions of cloud theory, silk. The earth itself
streaming to gorges of ardor. And more. And…
13, 14, 15. Rainbows, I’m inclined to pursue….

0 thoughts on “The Idea of North

  1. Eloquent, experimental, eruditic, and extrapalatory! I always love reading a Cocteau poem…i have for years! They’re guaranteed to be different and life-invigorating.
    North; Cold; Predatory. There’s feeling in words and there’s a craft in choosing words to express feelings. The articulation of a list (cardinal points of notionality) as the main body of a poem is ballsy yet practical and modern. Well done!
    The title, ‘The Idea of North’, set the reader in a direction (literally).lol. And then the main body weaves in and out of real life description mixed with abstraction laden with feeling. The first couple of reads may leave one with a wishy-washy impression but if the reader can only focus on impression over understanding then there’s where the joyous fruits of this type of poem reside.
    I’ll take the poet’s advice and argue number 4, however: “4. Arguably, a barn owl will kill more rats and mice around/a farm than a half-dozen house cats.” My cat could outmouser any owl on any given day bro! lmao.
    Thanks for sharing! Excellent read!

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