019.1: Melissa Kwasny:: Lost Pictograph & Petroglyph: Bird with Speech Symbol
7 June 2010
In writing a series of poems inspired by looking at the petroglyphs and pictographs in Montana and the West, Melissa Kwasny seeks what Ezra Pound called "a live tradition." In America, particularly in the West, tradition and history are not old buildings, the surviving remnants of the continued civilizing of nature. The tradition that Kwasny finds around her is nature itself: feather stems, "[w]eed scratching against weed", snow geese, willow limbs. The remnants of civilizations, these petroglyphs and pictographs that inspire the poems, are hidden within nature.