Arguments Of Idea

Arguments Of Idea

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Peyton Houston's "Arguments of Idea" are poems whose service is to startle us into an eager, constant awareness of possibility.  This book is concerned with the predicament of the human in a universe not too well understood and the continual argument the human conducts with experience.  Beginning with certain essential questions, this book builds by a series of interrelated insights and discoveries to a larger recognition of what experience can signify.  Engagement, risk, the play of the apparent and the real, the surprise latent in things, are recurrent themes.  Possibility to be found must be risked.  Seeing does not come easily and never as one expects.

Written in a variety of forms and with great flexibility and responsiveness of poetic method, approaching its central consideration from many diverse viewpoints, this poetry combines force with lyrical lightness, scope with imaginative precision, sharp intensity with subtlety, in a structure of crossing relationships of abstract and specific to yield new  and powerful insights.  Houston sees poetry as the use of the imagination to think within areas where philosophy can not reach - "a saying of the otherwise unsayable in order to know the otherwise unknowable."  Its function is discovery and its testimony delight.  As before, several of these poems are plural poems where the same words in different orders of reading yield distinct meanings with the whole poem being all of the meanings taken together.  In a way, this characterizes how the poet feels the world should be read - not to a conclusion or answer but to a multiplicity of meanings which together continually yield further meaning.