the momentary retardation of time's erosions

Don McKay and Ken Babstock discussing the relationship between lyric and narrative poetry:

Don McKay: You know those structuralist diagrams where they have lyric going up one axis and narrative going up the other, that makes some kind of crude sense to me. It's a radical simplification, but narrative's going along historically - "and then, and then, and then" - the lyric can at any point leap out of it, with an implied eternity.

Ken Babstock: The eternal moment.

DM: "Now it's fit to die because we'll never get beauty like this again" - lyric attempts to pause there, but I think even while doing that there's a implied gravity. The narrative goes on to the next day. The meditative approach acknowledges this: that one moment will inevitably lead to the next. We accept mortality instead of fighting it off.

KB: That's the diachronic - being locked in time.

DM: I guess. Whatever the lyric aesthetic is, it probably has something to do with the momentary retardation of time's erosions, just for a moment. The narrative acknowledges, "Yes, it is just for the moment, now we're getting back into the flow, so fasten your seat belt."

- from Where the Words Come From: Canadian Poets in Conversation, Ed. Tim Bowling, 2002.

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