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Kim Addonizio, "The End of It"
August 9, 2011 7:35 AM   Subscribe

"I have foresworn desire...I neither lick nor moan...I neither swallow..." Kim Addonizio's poem, "The End of It," is on Poetry Daily. Reminiscent of Yeats' line, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity" and Stephen Dunn's line, "Precision...is more radical than passion," it demonstrates the fecund nature of poetic iconoclasm. Or, if you prefer the more hackneyed characterization, the value of questioning everything. In the end, Addonizio may be sitting quietly, like Nanao Sakaki's "happy, lucky idiot." [NSF asexuals, hedonists, or the majority of non-eccentrics...but I doubt your boss at work will bat an eyelash at a poem--if so, sit quietly you happy, lucky...]

"...nor spit."
posted by ottimo (41 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am not sure about this post as a post? But I enjoyed Addonizio's poem, and Sakaki's. Thanks!
posted by everichon at 7:39 AM on August 9, 2011


the value of questioning everything

Or just some fine, clever, crisp writing.

No more for me the hanky panky.

Is a great line. I love it. Nice link ottimo. The post goes over my head.
posted by three blind mice at 7:42 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


is a marble squirrel like a monkey ball?
posted by LogicalDash at 7:54 AM on August 9, 2011


Kim Addonizio's poems are always (okay, often) about her sex life. I kind of doubt her conviction here.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:55 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


is a marble squirrel like a monkey ball?

Yeah, another one for ask me

but how does one disarticulate one's clit?
posted by the noob at 7:57 AM on August 9, 2011


No more for me the hanky panky.

Sounds likes Poirot being caught in a lie.
posted by clavdivs at 7:59 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


No more for me the hanky panky.
The Donger needs food!
posted by Babblesort at 8:00 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


but how does one disarticulate one's clit?

Great question--I hope someone has an answer.
posted by ottimo at 8:11 AM on August 9, 2011


I kind of doubt her conviction here.

It's not a blog post yo, she's not actually stating anything about her sex life. Hence the beavers, cabbage, etc.

The marble squirrel though, that is from real life. He sits in his recliner even now, watching basketball.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:12 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great question--I hope someone has an answer.

No way I'm getting involved in another literal vs. figurative viking war.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:15 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the post, the link to the Magritte picture (this) takes me to a shady site that tried to spam me with pop-ups and uncloseable phishing ads. There's got to be a better site for just a single image, like, say, here. I've flagged this as HTML error if the mods want to replace that link.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:17 AM on August 9, 2011


Nice link ottimo. The post goes over my head.

Thanks. I know the rest of the post, after the main link, was less than an obvious connection for the casual surfer, but I was hoping the main link was enough, and anyone (and only those) interested in further intellectual consideration would check out the rest of the links--which I find quite relevant, but then again, I'm kind of eccentric.

Anyway, if you desire further explanation as to my personal thoughts re: the entire post, feel free to mail me or otherwise ask.
posted by ottimo at 8:18 AM on August 9, 2011


another literal vs. figurative viking war.

Ooh--love the fact that you at least are someone out there that knows the difference. I'd say, on the most basic level, that to disarticulate the "Deloris" is at least consistent with the idea of shedding desire.
posted by ottimo at 8:21 AM on August 9, 2011


In the post, the link to the Magritte picture (this) takes me to a shady site that tried to spam me with pop-ups and uncloseable phishing ads. There's got to be a better site for just a single image, like, say, here. I've flagged this as HTML error if the mods want to replace that link.

Woah, sorry--it didn't do anything susicious when I opened it...several times. But your optional link is just fine...I just wanted a link for that that opened up to the painting at the top of the page, as opposed to having to go scrolling and clicking for it. It was just meant to be an easy reference to the painting. Definitely mods should change if necessary.
posted by ottimo at 8:25 AM on August 9, 2011


No more for me the hanky panky.

Sounds like Yoda being caught in a lie.
posted by LordSludge at 8:39 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


No more for me the hanky panky.

Would you prefer a little rumpy pumpy instead?
posted by binturong at 8:51 AM on August 9, 2011


It's not a blog post yo, she's not actually stating anything about her sex life. Hence the beavers, cabbage, etc.

While I understand that a distinction needs to be made between a poet and a speaker in a poem, she's always seemed to me to be one of those poets drawing largely from autobiography. And that's okay--she's certainly not alone in that. I don't think I'd be alone in assuming that a poem that begins "I have forsworn desire" is confessional.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:57 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would hope that this is a passing mood...or that irony is involved, assuming the poet is the speaker, never a sure bet. But my thoughts have little to do with the fact that this is a good poem, with the possible exception of the marble squirrel.
posted by kozad at 9:01 AM on August 9, 2011


Ooh--love the fact that you at least are someone out there that knows the difference. I'd say, on the most basic level, that to disarticulate the "Deloris" is at least consistent with the idea of shedding desire.

Just because I have a different set of metaphors than you do, doesn't mean I don't understand the distinction between the literal and the figurative.
posted by LogicalDash at 9:06 AM on August 9, 2011


Just because I have a different set of metaphors than you do, doesn't mean I don't understand the distinction between the literal and the figurative.

Of course not. I wasn't referring to you, apparently, but those who don't understand that those two planes do exist in thought--people who I have, in fact, at times encountered.

I just meant to promote the understanding of literal vs. figurative, not to insult any previous commenter...or reader, for that matter.
posted by ottimo at 9:09 AM on August 9, 2011


Sounds like Yoda being caught in a lie.
Yoda was a poet.

I would hope that this is a passing mood...or that irony is involved...

Or, as Heraclitus suggested, you can't step into the same river twice. Or as T. Wolfe said, you can't go home again. Or as Ginsberg said, you can't step into the same river once. Or as Nietzsche said, I am too deep to know myself. Or as Hegel suggested, there's always an antithesis. Or as Jesus, Obi-Wan, and Odysseus suggest, sacrifice thy current self for further growth into something better.

Or, as Kim says, let your brain be bigger than your genitals--sometimes, or at least until the next poem.

Everything is passing...hold on to it all...as Nietzsche also said, "I am grieved by the transitoriness of things." Or something like that.
posted by ottimo at 9:17 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really understand your framing. The Yeats line is not metaphorical or figurative but intended to channel the extremity and intractability of an imminent apocalypse. As a line, it is intended to culminate a looming sense of dread.

Addonizio, on the other hand, is being fucking hilarious. "No more for me the hanky panky"? "Moonlight on the water / is as soap scum to me now"? Those are fantastic, acerbic reductions of romantic overwriting, and they are drop-dead funny. Those two poems don't seem anything alike; there's no irony in that Yeats poem at all.
posted by Errant at 9:23 AM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Haha, Errant--chaotically abstract as ever. Thank you for your comment.

As best I can tell, I (almost) totally agree with you about the Addonizio lines you mention. I would just add that I do find (not that you discounted this possibility) more than just a commentary on romantic writing in them--though that aspect is indeed, in my opinion as well, worthy of hilarity.

I don't agree with your contention regarding the (lack of) connection between Yeats and Addonizio. If you need help with making the intellectual bridge, mail me, because it's not irony that's the link.
posted by ottimo at 9:46 AM on August 9, 2011


I would like to be involved in the literal Viking war, please. A figurative Viking war just doesn't sound as exciting.
posted by rusty at 9:47 AM on August 9, 2011


I would like to be involved in the literal Viking war, please. A figurative Viking war just doesn't sound as exciting.

Or is it the other way around?
posted by ottimo at 9:53 AM on August 9, 2011


Or, as Kim says, let your brain be bigger than your genitals--sometimes, or at least until the next poem.

Bon Mot!
posted by clavdivs at 9:56 AM on August 9, 2011


I hate to say it, because I was all for this post initially, but one in which a MeMail discussion is required to explain the framing seems kind of odd? Can't we just have the discussion here in the comments?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:57 AM on August 9, 2011


I hate to say it, because I was all for this post initially, but one in which a MeMail discussion is required to explain the framing seems kind of odd? Can't we just have the discussion here in the comments?

We certainly can, to an extent. I just had two extended discussions on the public comments that got a bit too extended. One of them involved Errant, very briefly, so I was trying, in part, to limit some of the most digressive commentary to MeMail, where it wouldn't bore the average reader so much.

Regarding my post, I meant for the first part to be quite publicly accessible, but the latter links to be a bit more intellectually in need of some work, so I figured comments about the latter parts were more appropriate for MeMail, while the former could be more appropriate for the public commentary. But I'm flexible--we can see what happens.
posted by ottimo at 10:04 AM on August 9, 2011


I don't agree with your contention regarding the (lack of) connection between Yeats and Addonizio. If you need help with making the intellectual bridge, mail me, because it's not irony that's the link.

That's ok, you can call me stupid in public if you like, I don't mind.
posted by Errant at 10:13 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you for the Nanao Sakaki quote; that was marvelous.

Here:
Addonizio dissects what women want,
Dunn discusses what poetry can do,
and Yeats explores cruel happiness.

And one more, just because:

"Every other truth in the world, out of respect,
slides over, makes room for its superior."
posted by pleasebekind at 10:14 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's ok, you can call me stupid in public if you like, I don't mind.

Errant, you are being so intelletually coquettish, I'm not sure whether to split or get on the pot. :P

Just kidding around with that. But in all sincerity, if the direct is helpful: I'm not trying to call you stupid, serendipitously or blatantly.

All I meant was that: you suggested that because there wasn't a particular connection (irony-related), then there was no OTHER connection as well. Which is not at all to be assumed based on a lack of irony--assuming there is a lack of such. There are many other possible connections. If you want to discuss them publicly or on MeMail, I'm open to either one. If it gets too involved, though, we should move it to MeMail, per the preferences of J.

I don't think you are stupid--whatever that word means. But yeah, I was a bit patronizing in my phrasing of that last post regarding the potential of other connections. I suppose I was being a bit condescending in a retorting sort of way. Sorry about that. I wasn't feeling hateful when I did so, but moreso playful. I suppose that wasn't the best choice considering our previous exchange. Anyway, let's leave that behind and, if you want to discuss this FPP further, publicly or privately, just let me know.
posted by ottimo at 10:44 AM on August 9, 2011


This thread about whether or not to have a thread about this post is awesome. I'd almost like to chime in myself, but I'm just not sure whether I ought to or not.
posted by rusty at 10:51 AM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why is it that people with good taste think they are as sophisticated as the things they like?
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:55 AM on August 9, 2011


All I meant was that: you suggested that because there wasn't a particular connection (irony-related), then there was no OTHER connection as well.

No, I said that I didn't understand why you were saying that those lines were reminiscent of each other, when to me they seem very different. That's an invitation to explain your framing, not a denial that your framing has any merit whatsoever. Why you've responded with the coy "think about it some more, you'll get there", I don't know; you're not my guru. But, honestly, this thread is getting very "ottimo's poetry seminar" about it, and it doesn't seem like much of a public discussion so much as an analysis of your particular viewframe, so I'm just going to move on.
posted by Errant at 10:58 AM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I quite liked the poem, with its sort of cheerful "ah fuck it all" tone and goofy imagery. I'm a sucker for a strange metaphor. And the Sakaki quote is also great. I don't understand the rest of the framing at all, but references to Yeats and Magritte are as soap scum to me now.
posted by rusty at 11:03 AM on August 9, 2011


if you want to discuss this FPP further, publicly or privately, just let me know.

....Wait, are you actually discouraging people from discussing your FPP in the FPP?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:40 AM on August 9, 2011


a lot of editorializing and thread-sitting and all over a poem which, in any long view, is entirely forgettable.

Also, the Yeats poem and the Addonizio piece have nothing in common. You are going to have to butcher one or the other to get them linked.

This is a very thin FTP and smacks of a publicity stunt more than anything else. An FTP exploring Poetry Daily would of been more interesting.
posted by Shit Parade at 11:47 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Onanistic trainwreck. Flagged.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:32 PM on August 9, 2011


No way I'm getting involved in another literal vs. figurative viking war.

Figurative vikings always lose in fights against literal vikings.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:31 PM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


In a world of oversharing, sexualized advertisments, and constant pressure to be as kinky and experienced as possible (even on MetaFilter) I reckon prudishness is the new punk rock.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:31 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yea verily I am a roly poly.

The roly poly has been very popular in South Korea this summer.
posted by Pranksome Quaine at 12:35 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


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