I was struck by how tiny the page font was all the way back there in modernity.
Opening to a random page to find my marginalia, I came across a great passage on ordering, which hearkens back to one of my favorite guides, Thinking in Writing by Donald McQuade and Robert Atwan.
This quote is from the chapter on Imagery, which starts with the phrase quote "Saying one thing and meaning another" by Robert Frost.
It was Aristotle who first said that metaphor was essential to poetry and was the one thing that the poet could not be taught. It's an intuitive perception of similarities between dissimilars...
..."All thought is sorting," says I.A. Richards, and the poet's achievement is the result of this process"...
Drew then paraphrases T.S. Eliot in saying:
the fine poet doesn't take everything he finds as of equal value. He "sorts" it. It is quite as easy to have too many images as too few. Unlike a logical argument, a poem is not the sum of its individual parts; it's a pattern of living relationships among statements and images, the way they kindle or support of modify one another by the poet's arrangement.
In relation to my response to Susan Howe's organization of her thoughts on Emily Dickinson over the last two weeks, I've been thinking of all the pleasures I get from acts of sorting: sorting papers from an old box found in the garage, sorting during spring cleaning or before a garage sale, sorting laundry, sorting my candy skittles by color before eating them, sorting my lucky charms. Not all poets enjoy the sorted world or the futile act of trying to sort out the world. I've noticed this seems to stem from a fact of temperament.
On the Strength Finders test, one of my five strengths was connection. I naturally zip to what is "like" versus what is "unlike." I'm like this in work and social situations, as well, always thrilled to find out what I have in common with those I meet.
One of my best friends tested high in naturally seeing difference between people, honing in on individual singularity. I feel this would make her a great novelist. She's a connoisseur of characters while my mind is busy creating bridges.