3.5.07

what is and is not...

The most significant poetry in our culture is, of course, the poetry that refuses to announce itself. It’s what we love to kill. It’s the poetry of the uncommon – not popularized by media blitzes, not by all those who would remove the poem from the poetry. And they certainly do.

We’re left with words... and a host of skeletons, dragging from long chains, across worn, wooden floors – dust-bound.

What remains is dribble, is insignificant, is splashed across the air waves as though it were real. But, of course, it’s not.

It is what we’ve settled for.

What we say and what is ... don't agree.

Don’t ask me for models, for examples. If I have to say, there’s no way for you to read.

That’s my view from the bottom.

*

Who says my poems are poems?
My poems are not poems.
When you know that my poems are not poems,
Then we can speak of poetry!

          Ryōkan (Trans. John Stevens)

11 comments:

Pamela said...

I had a flash of Marley's ghost awakening Scrooge when I read this...and isn't that exactly the point?

The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. It was long, and wound about him like a tail; and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel...Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels, but he had never believed it until now....

In poetry, more than Marley will haul around that massive chatelaine...

Good post.

32poems said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the Bassey. Thanks.

gemellen said...

O! O! O! Thankee for this.

Collin said...

Sam, I have bestowed upon you the Thinking Blogger Award. Check my blog for details on your win. :)

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks Pamela, Deborah, & GG for the read and comments. And Collin, thanks for the award.

Liz said...

Sam, very interesting. The clinching line for me was: 'It's what we've settled for' - maybe it's about underestimating what 'we're about'/ or 'what is' there and being too flighty/wary to go digging for it.

Thanks - enjoyed your thoughts.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for the read, Liz. Always the underestimation. I agree.

jenni said...

love the quote, sam.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I appreciate the read, Jenni.

C. E. Chaffin said...

Ah, Sam, I finally heard a negative from you--"From the bottom"--this helps humanize your literary sainthood for me, but your refusal to cite examples reflects your usual politic magnanimity.

I hope it's not too much to hope that my work falls in the category that does not announce itself.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for reading, CE.