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Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s 2008 and 2009 Tapa Notebook — page 42
[ Text: what was ‘wrong’ with Eliz[abeth] Alexander’s / inaugural poem. / A poem must have a rhythmic / drive (even if it has no ‘metrics’ / or fixed meter) that pushes in relation / to patterns of syntactic phrases / (that is, to syntax, but syntax does / not have to be conventional, just / meaningful). A poem must have / this drive across syntax with / words that do depth, resonance, / sound — verticality (down in to the literary / history & social history of these / words.) // [diagram, horizontal line with the words] drive push energy syntax rhythm [the line consisting of two arrows, then vertical arrows, one at an angle, the others simply vertical with circles drawn at the points of crossing and labeled] at every minute poem MOVES [and] depth word resonance / 22 Jan 09 ]
RBD gloss: implicit and unspoken: In my view, her poem didn’t have this drive.
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.