U, the first of two paired poems, bristles with the bright ironic gloss of pop art as it describes the cultural emptiness and social awkwardness of a town that resembles the Norman, Oklahoma in which Morrison composed it. From the dream world of Light we move to a world of conflicted imagination, befitting the inner, negative “UN” of LUNA. Like The Faerie Queene, which MM studied at Yale, introduced in China and alludes to as a hypertext for Renewed, U and Need are works of fantasy. (See too the influence of Spenser’s six/seven part romance, Books I-VI plus The Mutabilitie Cantos, on Morrison’s six/seven-stage epic: six if we count SOLUNA as a single stage). U and Need were composed a line a day over six years, a steadying procedure that twice reduced 1000 days to 1000 lines, again miniaturizing real time. SOLUNA’s 365 manuscript pages symbolized for MM the magnus annum. Light, U and Need offer epitomes of this larger alchemical phase of the Sentence. What space, we might ask, does U represent? A space that could be real but one that is too satirical to be convincing. What space does Need represent? The imagined space of dream allegory, as in Chaucer’s Hous of Fame. What space does SOLUNA represent? It varies, for a marked feature of MM’s work is variety. “In SOL and LUNA I decided to write,” he tells me, “six books in six different styles.”
The full text of U
Marc de Hay, "De Cederhouten Vleugels van Berouw"
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