Frank Samperi’s notes on poetry and poetics


Handwritten original from “Marginalia” included in Quadrifariam.

For Dolores

These poems may seem to be just occasions; (but) nevertheless there is a desire to place
them more substantially: the spiritual world a light coming thru. (Gathering up or better)
revealing the domestic worthy of the metaphor: the family aware of the fall of light,
darkness no longer something to be eradicated.


-There should be no indenting – also, the lines should fall without spacing.


What is known the world over business makes men brutal.
Still feel that the deeping of The Triune depends upon my getting complete rest – no other
way to the spirit except thru a purity of disposition.
It is best that my work remain unknown – the age continues the work of the last 600 years:
Who’s the poet, then?
I’d like to write of friendship, but that’s more memorial than actual fact; nevertheless, the
memory of it mollifies walks otherwise hapless. Not much time for walks these days – the job
tyrannical. It is not possible to teach the young poetry if their sense of (poetry) it is competitive.
They seek judgments that have nothing to do with the art, that is, a man gains nothing from being
told that his work is stronger than another’s: but again, the age wants no part of a teaching that
has God as end, the audience in no sense identifying with a work, release necessarily telic.
Here it comes clear: the teaching of poetry says just that we might be heirs of a view that impedes
no sense – second that the wholeness of a work is equally given up: from these the audience is
fulfilled, the sense the wholeness unimpeded. What happens when the age is false (propagandistic)?

The artist must seek the truth doubly.
You waste away for want of companions – those who insist you only wait upon a verification that
is referable to themselves rather than the common that makes companions participants in the greater
What comes upon one that makes him (you) feel that everything has reached its peak, and that
anything more to do is over and above! There is separation, and the terrible sorrow of the day reflects
it, makes me inwardly dual.
Wait! Don’t work on the major poem until there is time – but suppose the time never comes? Wait! If…
only those writers whose possibilities are granted can expect honor, those ignored can only know
isolation, the act of writing (more) akin to the (criminal action) non-professional, even tho sense of craft
better than those whose positions are granted. The ignored one must take upon himself every insult,
humiliation – the superiorly of his art makes him take it – compromise foreign to him.
The country art is suspect because it’s there for the sake of the tired peoples of the cities – after awhile
people can only take so much concrete – but we can’t be sentimental over this.
We are now into the days (now) when to expect words from another can cause collapse if the words
don’t come. Some poets stay amidst nature because they feel – I guess – that to stay in the city is to be
abstract: they – unknowingly, of course – falsify: in the country does not guaranty poetry; on the
contrary, it is possible to tip one’s hat (to pay lip service) to the natural sciences under such conditions,
that is, the poetic actively there is referable to the position here in the sense that it is there in order to
ease the city of its severity.
So many hours to job – so little now for reading. Was it not once almost 12 hours a day?
The Union of both Church & State has the same meaning as Church Total State Total: total eradication of
The new Christian the Spiritual man living the Eternal Life.
There’s no time to rest now: poems come of rest? Then let there be a writing: no time to rest –

But are you giving yourself over to expression? No! expression always self: Holy or slave this writing
reveals a purity reflecting Holiness or a shell (inwardly outwardly) cracked reflecting nothing,
which is to say, the ordeal more than the body can handle, yet the brokenness not without some sense
of the release that is Holiness, because the selflessness even there purity tho negative,
to get rid of a desire to be known is to come to grips with one’s humiliation.
I am sick of this age. I am not fit for anything – useless.

gods in shadows

wood beyond hill

above sea

light reflected beyond water – nothing….

Two movements become confused when the vision is single: a man high minded but poor.
(unfit for life.)
It may be that I have written the Life more than any other, but viewed from the role valid identification,
not true, personalism an image in light giving way to God.
I feel deeply misplaced; but know at heart that place here is political, and wonder where is the political
that once was ordinary speech, dying as we do speaking artificially.
This however cannot be right: ordinary artificial parts of the greater no where at odds.
The good life can only be that which despite everything else remains itself.
Why suicide in my work? obvious: the work wishes to take its life.
There is a difference between the actual life and the real life.
Ideally speaking social poetry to the detriment of the familial is circular: peace as end is but the familial
returning: therefore, social poetry is family poetry….
One can’t get rid of the sentimental by identifying with the social.
The sorrow of astrology is that its theoretical configurations stand in need of the practical.
To be thoroughly secular is to be pagan.

My relation to the 4 similar to Dante’s relation to those of the old style.
Beware of the poets who (seek) to equate the will with the vertical and then seek to destroy (get rid of) it.
Knowledge of the individual a ruse: something pantheistic about it.


  1. "no other
    way to the spirit except thru a purity of disposition"

    There is such a thing as "purity of disposition" in poetry, a notion that will make Language theorists bristle.

    I'll even suggest, inspired by Samperi, an ecology of verse: positing (by analogy)a reverence for language as it is & just as vulnerable to human toxins. Not an ecopoetics that studies the 'ecology referents'in a work but damage done by wilful language tampering.

    There's a lot at stake in Samperi's "purity of disposition" here


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