a the the a

“[A] case can be made out for the poet giving some of his life to the use of the words a and the: both of which are weighted with as much epos and historical destiny as one man can perhaps resolve. Those who do not believe this are too sure that the little words mean nothing among so many other words.”

—Louis Zukofsky

/ Avant-Garde Haiku by Philip Rowland (Frogpond 25.1, 2002); as found in The Marginalization of Poetry by Bob Perelman (Princeton, New Jersey: University of Princeton Press, 1996, p50)

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One thought on “a the the a

  1. Thanks, Scott, for putting the complete text of that essay (written in 1999, presented in 2000) on-line. (It appeared later in frogpond in truncated form.) Here’s the original source of that Zukofsky quote: Prepositions (University of California Press), p.10. And if anyone’s interested in reading a follow-up exchange on the essay, with Cor van den Heuvel, see frogpond 25:3, 2002.

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