Editors’ Choice ∙ Raga Man

Posted in Announcements, Editors' Choice by seán on October 27, 2011


Dear contributors, readers, friends,


This is the first in what will be an ongoing, regular series of Editors’ Choice posts – individual pieces picked from the archive and presented independently as an article here on the matzine blog. Like the zine, the Editors’ Choice articles are curated with several modest intentions in mind;- to offer personal reflections on our physical and cultural environments as they exist; to host intellectual, creative exchange across geographical distinctions; and to act in the provocation of new work, of new ways of thinking and making.


Within in the spirit of these intentions, we encourage discussion & intelligent critique…

Raga Man by Robert Fieldhouse, p#2, m#09copy+paste


Raga Man, a submission by Robert Fieldhouse to the Copy Paste issue; I really like it. Playful, cunning and quick, this poem delights, beguiles and tickles. These stunted stanzas follow formats seemingly simple, allowing the conscience an unencumbered phonetic, rhythmic pleasure. It reminds me of the Oulipo experiments:

“the seeking of new structures and patterns that may be used by writers in any way they enjoy.” Constraints are used to trigger new ideas and the Oulipo group is an ongoing source of novel techniques, often based on mathematical ideas — such as counting letters and syllables, substitution algorithms, permutations, palindromes, and even chess problems.”


…from Joanna Growney’s blog poetrywithmathematics, also reference in a post from my blog, Dec 2010. As an editor of Matzine it warmed my heart how this submitted piece merrily shook hands with Stephen Mackie’s chosen theme Copy Paste. Reading, I feel like like the words, the words’ meanings and the newly formed verses were each in some way copied and pasted. How abstract a thing to communicate.  The references, the less-obvious poetic formulas, the subject-weaves; I am content to carousel these lines with simple survey, though perhaps there are deeper dimensions to be enjoyed upon more rigorous readings of Robert’s Raga Man

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