Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The end-to-end method is reminiscent of poetic redundancy; but whereas the latter method involves shortening each line of a poem to its final few words, the former consists of removing the middle portion of each line, such that its first and last words are condensed into a potent burst of figuration and meaning (potent in theory, at least).

When applied to the first section of Wallace Stevens's "The Auroras of Autumn," the end-to-end method yielded the following result:

The Auroras of Autumn


This is the bodiless,
His head at night.
Eyes open every sky.

Or is this the egg,
Another cave,
Another body’s slough?

This is his nest,
These fields, distances,
And the pines beside the sea.

This is formlessness,
Skin disappearances
And the serpent skin.

This is its base.
These lights attain a pole
In the serpent there,

In another maze
Of body and images,
Relentlessly in happiness.

This is his poison: disbelieve
Even in the ferns,
When sure of sun.

Made in his head,
Black beaded animal,
The moving glade.

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