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Saturday, 2 February 2013

Anecdote of the Exploding Jar


Tennessee -- near Nashville, September 1972

 I placed a jar in Tennessee,
 And round it was, upon a hill.
 It made the slovenly wilderness
 Surround that hill.

 The wilderness rose up to it,
 And sprawled around, no longer wild.
 The jar was round upon the ground
 And tall and of a port in air.

 It took dominion every where.
 The jar was gray and bare.
 It did not give of bird or bush,
 Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Wallace Stevens: Anecdote of the Jar, written in Elizabethton, Tennessee, 1918, from Harmonium (1921)


Traffic on Highway 25 exit off of Interstate 65, Nashville, Tennessee, September 1972

Near Pittsburg, Tennessee, September 1972

Visual pollution along Interstate 24, Pittsburg, Tennessee, September 1972

Visual pollution, South Pittsburg, Tennessee, September 1972

Visual pollution along Interstate 24, South Pittsburg, Tennessee: photo by William Strode, September 1972

Photos by William Hall "Bill" Strode (b. Louisville, Kentucky 5 August 1937, d. Versailles, Kentucky 15 May 2006) for the Environmental Protection Agency's DOCUMERICA Project (U.S. National Archives)


Hazen said...

what time is it?

In the midst
of bright moments
and clouds
and altiplano

and clouds

in the high desert

death shining
la muerte brillando

everything frozen:
out there in here
the head the heart
the bones
this joint

it’s like this

in a flourish of lo vital
in the sudden flux of particle and wave

comes also the great ebbing.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Caught in the Act

It did not give of bird or bush
But lots

Of toilet paper, lots
Of white


TC said...

Ah, the peaceful ebbing before the great national trash-flux at the Superdome: "And round it was... It took dominion everywhere".

What counts is not who wins or loses, of course, but who cooks up the most arresting tv adverts. These streaming slices of visual pollution are the mystic stuff of "our" memories, as a "culture".

The American Way of Death-in-Life.

Public space in "this kind of society" is permanently on lease to the toxic spammers. Internet trolls invoke this great tradition to justify the littering of cyberspace with continuous wall-to-wall damp-squib self-promotional dribble.

But is it really a guaranteed democratic entitlement, the right to blast innocent eyeballs with every manner of commercial signage?

Curiously, there are places that have decided to do without it.

Cidade Limpa: a city scrubbed clean of outdoor advertising... and nobody misses it!.

Wooden Boy said...

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.

The wilderness under management is very melancholy.

That great wall of primary colour words has an almost naive charm given the insidious flood of images we live with now.

TC said...

Rest assured, folks, things may change elsewhere in the universe, but it's still "Best Bang for Your Buck" at Fireworks Mecca, hard by the BP station in South Pittsburg.

Elmo St. Rose said...

"In wilderness is preservation of
the world" to nearly quote John
Not to long ago I saw a documentary
on "The Anglers of New York"...
even in the midst of massive
civilization, wilderness is never
that far away if you are looking
for it.
The sea visited New York City last
fall in the form of storm Sandy.The
sea,of course is wild. A great white shark roams off the Hamptons.

One of my occasional
internet browsing diversions is
to follow the sitings of cougars.
TC had post on the cougar shot
by police in
search: cougars in Ohio, Conneticut,
etc...deer crossings 20 miles
outside NYC in NJ...and if nature
recedes there's always an English
garden...but nature won't ever

TC said...


Nature's abiding virtue, its resilience and ability to withstand and survive the "Acts of Man".

It takes a beating, but -- sometimes, "hopefully" -- bounces back. Over time. Centuries maybe?

On the other hand, the Gulf... Chernobyl...

How many of these tests can it stand up to?

Unknown said...

Fu Fu Fu Fu Fukishima?

(Little Turtle)