Stages of Encounter with a Difficult Text

  • Lyn Hejinian


From a variety of angles—as a writer, as a reader, and most explicitly as a teacher—I have had many encounters with what for the moment I’ll call “the problem of the difficult poem.” None of these encounters have managed (since they have never attempted) to eliminate the problem; perhaps in the end difficulty will no longer be a problem in a troublingly pejorative sense, though I hope that it will continue to provoke puzzlement and compel fascination in the drama of consciousness that difficulty (in poetry, as in all else) produces. And none of these encounters have diminished the “difficulty,” though they have, I believe, altered its character and placed difficulty in and of itself at the center of my thinking about poetry and about the reasons one might have for teaching it.


Collaborative Writing Unify Field Theory Difficult Text Pejorative Sense Modern Poetry 
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Copyright information

© Joan Retallack and Juliana Spahr 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyn Hejinian

There are no affiliations available

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