The Baroque shores of a rich poem
Present with their Madrigal words
A world obscured and ground to sand
By the diminishing tide of
“Write in plain and simple language.”
The poet was exuberant,
along his labyrinth shouting.
'Good fellow, you must trim,'
the critics came a-clouting.
And so he cut and pruned,
at their behesting ...
and now remain no bowers,
nor sweet birds nesting.
Mary Fullerton (1868-1946)
The language beneath the language:
This is poetry.
- Andrea Pacione
I prefer to think of poetry as above ordinary language. A supernal language.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2005 10:01PM by IanB.
Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never
quite equal the experience behind them.
- Charles Simic
Meant only for Supermen and other aliens to common culture, evidently. Lol.
No, Peter. The supernal is there, whether we tune in or not. You don't have to be a superman or an alien to let it resonate through you. You just need to have or develop sensitivity. It's like that old saying: 'A cat may look at a Queen'. Except that a cat evidently doesn't care to share its experience. That's the other thing a poet needs, the urge to report the supernal, to propagate it in common culture. Perhaps the saying should be 'A dog may bark at a Queen'.
PS: In writing the above, I feel I'm already in danger of getting stuck in a limited metaphor, so don't intend to pursue it to the death. Don't want to become like a dolphin enmeshed in a shark net. Lol.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2005 07:07PM by IanB.
Seems I'm ok then, since I take all of creation to be sacred and divine.
Les, that's a strange metaphor from Charles Simic, 'an orphan of silence'. Doesn't seem to fit his next sentence. Can you interpret?
As for that next sentence, I think Simic is right some of the time, and wrong some of the time.
Many experiences are too complex to be conveyed fully in words, though we try by using metaphors, vivid images, words with overtones, etc.
At the same time, there are descriptions in poetry (and in prose) which we accept as meaningful, even though reality couldn't possibly correspond. An example would be those words, now a humorous cliche, devised by the pioneer writers of 'ripping yarns' to get their hero out of terminal trouble: 'With one bound, Jack was free.' How in reality could anyone get unbound by bounding?!
"Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never
quite equal the experience behind them."
- Charles Simic
I love this quote. Thanks for posting it.
You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some with you.