don't invent... listen...

From Nick Bruno's blog - They Shoot Poets – Don't They?:

The poet doesn't invent. He listens. – Jean Cocteau

True enough. Actually, the poet finds whatever is there, writes it down, trying to stay as close to the vision as possible – but that most likely will only approach what’s there.

Like a sculptor who finds in a block of stone the face, the shoulder, the arm and breast, the knee. The form emerges – but it’s already there. Waiting.

So it is with the best of poems.


A passage from Jelaluddin Rumi:
The center clears. Knowing comes:
The body is not singular like a corpse,
but singular like a salt grain
still in the side of the mountain.

        (Trans. John Moyne and Coleman Barks)


Pris said...

Sam, this makes total sense to me. It's also like reaching out to grasp Jung's archetypes.

Nick said...

Thanks for the plug, Sam. By the way Sam.................tag!

Suzanne said...

Yes and thank you for the Rumi.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I appreciate the read here - Pris, Nick & Suzanne.

John Gallaher said...

"Listens" seems too passive to me. There is an agressive side to composition left out by "listens."

Something like "a poet doesn't invent, but attends" would be better, though I might go so far as to phrase it "a poet doesn't invent, but is."

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for the read, John. "Attends" is a strong descriptive for the act, and holds back the notion of create, and that's a good thing from my view.

I've been planting azalias today. The notion of "attending" is to the point. I see a connection.