A metronome does not measure the pleasure of reading a long poem. The pleasure exists, outside of time, in a reader’s total aesthetic experience of bringing something to the poem and taking away much more than she or he arrived with. Only strong readers survive, and some of them opt to transform knowledge gained into actions. Others hoard their intellectual wealth. In American time-and-capital-driven cultures of reading, one might argue that becoming a strong reader is often a luxury enjoyed mainly by the incarcerated, for they are condemned to live in “abnormal” time. While they may open their readings to the sufferings of history, they do so without the Kabbalistic gestures Harold Bloom ascribes to strong readers in A Map of Misreading(1975). They employ fierce independence and common sense.
Mackey, Nathaniel. Blue Fasa. New York: New Directions, 2015.