Silence and Symbolism

Proposition for Studies in Poetry No.1

“The pure work implies the disappearance of the poet as speaker” – Mallarmé

Proposed Readings

Stéphane Mallarmé – Collected Poems and Other Verse


1. The session will last for one hour

2. We will base this time around one text of poetry

2.1 That text will be the Collected poems of Mallarmé

3. We will model our practice upon the forms of a Quaker meeting.

3.1. “A Quaker Meeting is based on silence, an expectant silence of waiting, in which we seek to come nearer to each other and to God. Occasionally a Meeting will pass in total silence. The silence may be broken if someone feels compelled by the Spirit to speak, pray or read.  The Meeting ends after about an hour with the shaking of hands.”

3.1.1. For Quaker meetings, the common text is the Bible, for our meeting the common text is Mallarmé

3.1.2. Each person present can speak only once

3.1.3. If you are motivated to speak, you can choose to read directly from Mallarmé or offer responses and thoughts to the work or the words of others

3.2. At the start of the session, we will nominate two people who will mark the end of the session by the shaking of hands.

3.2.1. Following this, everyone present at the meeting shakes hands.

4. There will be an option for further discussion after the one hour session.

This is yours. Alter, expand, elucidate, discard?

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2 Responses to Silence and Symbolism

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