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Instant Fish -- Peter Porter

(Poem #64) Instant Fish
Instant Fish
by Phidias!
Add water
and they swim.
-- Peter Porter
Note: Phidias was a Greek sculptor whose statues were so realistic that
they seemed to be alive.

Porter's take on Phidias is amazingly self-referential; like the fish
being described, the poem expands and takes on layers of meaning in the
mind of the reader. In just 9 short words, Porter manages to invoke the
ideas of life as art and art as life, the meaning of representation, the
role of the viewer, even the effects of time...

(Lest anyone think that I'm reading too much into what is actually a
piece of nonsense, let me add that I thought of many of the above issues
when I first read that poem; later (much later), I read a book of
criticism which had Porter say the same things about this poem. So
there. <g>)


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Peter Porter poems first appeared in the Summer 1958 and October 1959 issues of Delta, I really like his work, I think that he is one of the best one poets!!22dd

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