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Rakosi's development of what I would call the "diadic foot," employed in most of his poems of epistemological meditation, can be seen as a productive innovation in objectivist poetics. . . .

[T]he divisions of syntactic fragments mark a formal extension of the cognitive tensions that constitute the poem's underlying theme: As framings of "inner" and "outer" engage in a give and take of pressurings throughout the text, the interfacing units enact, through shuttlings of sense and cadence across the caesura's pause, the deeper interwovenness of self and world that lies beneath any apprehension of their "discreteness."

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As in Williams (and opposed to the horizontal pull of Stevens's metaphorical discursiveness) acts of seeing and thinking in Rakosi manifest themselves metonymically; the pressurings of the text's lineation against the expectations of syntax de-conventionalize the poem's reception, and open its reading to combinational possibilities outside its larger narrative flow. The particulars of attention, whether subjective or objective, are unshackled through form, and offered as a relational matrix that is open and, in the end, non-determined.

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As distinct from Stevens, where prosody is focused in accentual pulse, Rakosi projects the line as full unit of measure, the compressions or extensions of which aim to trace the interplays of phenomena and reflective thought. Composition in this mode, in that it grounds itself, in Zukofsky's famous phrase, in a "thinking with things as they exist," operates--and must--outside any paradigmatic metrical structure. As opposed to the rhythmic, one might even say melodic, expectations that Stevens's verse fulfills, the indeterminate patterns of meter and enjambment in Rakosi's work map, with the objectivist maxim of "sincerity," the confluence of dissonances and harmonies brought on by the open engagement of a mind with its given world. The text stands as if between the "subjective" and the "real"--a mediating grid or lattice upon which thinking and outer fact entwine as they seek their way into form.

But for Rakosi the scissorings of lyrical momentum that result from such careful articulation are not, as in much contemporary writing, weighted to suggest the frustrations of seeking to know the world through language; they are, to the contrary, areas and junctures charged with the effort of knowing, and with the implicit conviction that sincerities of attention hold out the promise of a communion with the "outside."

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Thus, to the "dismantling of contexts" that characterize Stevens's verse, Rakosi offers the alternative of a construction of contexts, proposing a fluid and creative exchange between the subject and that which it is given to live by. In this sense, the poem does not seek to insist its value or order into the world (or reader), but rather to be an object through which the "values" of human agency and objective world can interact on non-heirarchical and interpenetrating terms.