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)

1 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s