The Ghost of T. S. Eliot Comes to Visit
The latest poem in the newest sequence remains untitled, still. This fact hovers over the entire project. For some unknowable reason I need a title to help flow the tide of words and phrases. Titles act as an anchor for the reader. A stability to base the flow of information which the poet-writer provides. In this particular case, with this serious of poems a strong grounding in some sense of reality or logic is necessary do to the fantasy-folktale world the project bases itself.
Anyway. Currently I collected a menagerie of possibilities, each one a slight rewording of the main idea—from January 11:
• Displaced Nō Character in Monologue
• Character Monologue from a Japanese Nō Play
• Displaced Character Wearing a Japanese Nō Mask of a Fox
• Ray Soto as a Displaced Figure from a Nō Play
• Ray Soto Wears the Mask of a Displaced Fox
• Narration from a Displaced Figure in a Nō Play
In my particular case— unlike the works of say Jean Valentine which depend on a lack of strong realistic reaction of the world— or the nightmarish situations Yannis Ritsos creates, which defy logic and coherent thought— my recent series of proposed works need a clarification to help justify their quest-theme.
I do dislike the word "justification." It is too close to the word "defend" or "explain." The independent-rebel-artist in me cringes at the need to "validate" a creative description."Confirm" is a good word choice. Or even "uphold"— "support." Let's use support then: A strong title will support the quest-theme in the series of verse.
It falls into the logic of choosing, or not choosing, a specific form for a project. A restriction for a traditional sonnet sets the goal-posts in a recognizable pattern. Likewise, a strong title sets up a sense of a restriction for how the poem will perform.
Tonight, therefore, I fell into sleeplessness, again. Found myself wandering around the titles verbiage:
• Narration from a Displaced Character in Transition, Wearing a Nō Mask of a Fox...
"Narration from a Displaced Character in Transition, Wearing a Nō Mask of a Fox"—
—for some unknowable reason this works. Within this established definition of the work lies room for experimentation and creative phrasing. At least what resulted is something to play with and develop over the next few weeks.