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Robert Grenier and Stephen Ratcliffe In Conversation

On Natural Language

These four conversations between Stephen Ratcliffe and Robert Grenier, which inquire into a number of Grenier color drawing poems in light of the possibility that there might be something like 'a natural language', were inspired by a reading of Carla Billitteri's Language and the Renewal of Society in Walt Whitman, Laura (Riding) Jackson, and Charles Olson: The American Cratylus (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009) and informed by consideration of the Platonic dialogue Cratylus (one of Billitteri's principal sources/where she begins).

In order that persons concerned to hear these conversations may see for themselves something of what Grenier and Ratcliffe are talking about, we provide images of each of the drawing poems under consideration (in order of their occurrence in discussion), followed by 'rough translations' (only) of same (as an aid to beginning perception & interpretation of particular color drawing poems themselves).

Conversation of January 2, 2011

Conversation of January 3, 2011

Conversation of January 25, 2011

Conversation of April 23, 2011