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Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s 2008 and 2009 Tapa Notebook — page 17
[ Text: What is a poem? // A poem is a formed object in/of language / in lines that is culturally read as a poem // — // A poem is a pretty intentional but also / somewhat accidental mode of practice made / of language (which includes words, syntax, / sound, shape on page of letters and spaces) put / into pulses or segments in some rhythmic / or conventionally paced, shapes or modes that / at least the writer/producer has some reasons / for calling a poem — like the cultural status / of poem or poet, the historically inflected use / of language, the social and community meanings / accruing to the act, the gains or small / recognition the writer-producer is apt to garner / by the word ‘poem.’ // — // There is no ‘a poem’: there are only / practices of making, of poesis. // — //There is no ‘a poem’ — there is saturation / in everything said to be poetry. // 6 Jan 09 ]
These are scans of pages of a Tapa Notebook, filled out by American poet Rachel Blau DuPlessis for the University of Auckland Library. It ponders Rachel’s experiences writing in 2008 and 2009. For more of this backstory, see here. The word ‘tapa’ refers to the kind of dyed patterned cloth (made from the paper mulberry tree) shown left, and on the front cover of the notebook, an honorable practice popular in Polynesia. (See Wikipedia) Most spreads of this notebook have a blank verso (left hand page), except for 7L and 7R. Blank verso pages are not shown; usually only the recto (right hand) page is shown.