Today I was re-visiting Rae Armantrout's Versed, and it struck me how brilliant and daring her style is. After realizing how much I enjoyed art with layers of meaning, I came to realize how much I enjoy what is NOT familiar, and how it's the placing of familiar objects in strange contexts / combinations that makes them both seem new and enjoyable. With Armantrout what I notice is not the de-familiarizing of things via image, but rather of abstract terms. Then I finally understood what they meant by L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry: the words are what are being made new, not what they signify.
I wrote a note to my Facebook friends about RA's poetry, recommending it, and another poet came to mind: Kay Ryan. She too features a stark minimalism filled with depth brought on by the strategic word combinations and grammatical / syntactical arrangements used for maximum intensity and estrangement.
Speaking of de-familiarizing, I think I finally understand Rimbaud's statement, "derangement of the senses."
After posting on FB, Gertrude Stein came up under the category of "language poet." I happen to love Tender Buttons, though when I first began reading poetry I found her work unpalatable. In my experience, it took several other poets - countless really - before I could be ready for her. She is (as I said on FB) an acquired taste which can be a slow (and sometimes painful) acquisition. Now that I recognize what poetry can do for me (see below) I am aware of whom I should go to to seek it out. These three poets will make you feel more alive!
Check out the original article where the idea of defamiliarizing was termed: http://www.vahidnab.com/defam.htm
Here is what Shelley says of poetry - "Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar" - in his famous essay where poets are called the unacknowledged legislators of the world. (Auden's retort: Poetry makes nothing happen.)
Here's the essay of Shelley's: http://www.bartleby.com/27/23.html