When I think of the floor of the deep sea, the single, overwhelming fact that possesses my imagination is the accumulation of sediments. I always see the steady, unremitting, downward drift of materials from above, flake upon flake, layer upon layer — a drift that has continued for hundreds of millions of yeas, that will go on as long as there are seas and continents….the most stupendous ‘snowfall’ the earth has ever seen (75).
Edouard Glissant in 1990 (trans. 1997)
We no longer reveal totality within ourselves by lightning flashes. We approach it through the accumulation of sediments. The poetics of duration (another leitmotif), one of the first principles of the sacred, founding books of community, reappears to take up the relay from the poetics of the moment. Lightning flashes are the shivers of one who desires or dreams of a totality that is impossible or yet to come; duration urges on those who attempt to live this totality, when dawn shows through the linked histories of peoples. (33)
They use the same phrase: “the accumulation of sediments.”
A female American scientist and a male poet from Martinique. Her book a bestseller in English in 1951, his globally transmitted in French in the 1990s. Physics and poetics.
Carson calls this accumulation “epic poem of the earth” (76). Glissant calls it “creolization” (34) and “limitless metissage” (34).
Sediments are real things, rocks and silica and “billions of billions of tiny shells and skeletons, the limy or silicious remains of all the minute creatures that once lives in the upper waters” (76). Sediments are also stories “that explode the scattered lands into an arc” (33).