Make it NEW vs. make IT new

lauterbach pound

Ann Lauterbach:  “Poets and other artists have been concentrating on, drawing attention to, the relation between the HOW and the WHAT of artmaking throughout the 20th century.
“It is what we do.
“In re/citations of Ezra Pound’s injunction to “make it new” emphasis has invariably fallen on the word “new,” the word that most conjures the operations of commerce and capitalism in this that was “the American century”.
“… We have ignored the other two words, MAKE, and IT, as if they were of no significance.
“… For me, the “it” is the fragment of reality out of which we each make our poems.
[It] is not an entity, not a thing, but a force around which everything else swirls.”

–From “Poetic Statement: As (It) Is: Toward a Poetics of the Whole Fragment,”
in “American women poets in the 21st century: Where lyric meets Language,”
Claudia Rankine & Juliana Spahr, Eds.,
Wesleyan U Press, 2002

Ann Lauterbach EPC page page

PennSound page


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