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Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s 2008 and 2009 Tapa Notebook — page 30
[ Text: Something in Creeley/Olson letters / (2. 122) in wh[ich] RC cites Blake / quatrain, then begins adding to it… // something in the serious-doodling / John Ashbery poem in NYRB just now [New York Review of Books, January 15, 2009, the poem ‘Working Overtime‘] in which / he incorporates very famous lines from / other poems… [i.e. a ‘cento’ ] very touching-amusing // makes me think this is a way of / writing (ballad like) after Drafts. // (Creeley also did similar things at the / end of his life —— joining the ‘great /tradition’ but as for me it’s also / resisting same… ) // (Back to ‘the “History / of Poetry”’?) // 14 Jan 09 ]
RBD gloss: ‘The “History of Poetry”’ was a section in the DuPlessis book called Tabula Rosa (Elmwood, CT: Potes & Poets Press, 1987), but as a concept of gender critique it had a longer shadow.The section in Tabula Rosa was marked by the dour epigraph from Joanne Feit Diehl, ‘She cannot forget the history of poetry because it is not hers.’ In its more ambitious mode, as essays in both The Pink Guitar and Blue Studios make clear, the critique involved re-reading and re-writing every single text of (at least) Western culture to resist all former and limiting gender assumptions in form and content and to transpose these in feminist and anti-binarist ways. ]
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.