2.6.07

disturbing and mysterious...

– from Poems are Hard to Read

Poems seem to come into being for various and distinct reasons. These vary from poem to poem and from poet to poet. The reason for a poem is apt to be one of the revelations attendant on its making. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader, Frost said. The reason for a new poem is, in some essential, a new reason. This is why poets, in the large Greek sense of makers, are crucial to a culture. They respond newly, but in the familiar tribal experience of language, to what new thing befalls the tribe.

*

We are asked to believe that the poem takes place at the limits of imagination, where the poet’s debilitating reluctances threaten to overpower his fancy and drag it back into the territory of the literal. And the poem shows us, by exhibiting its own process, how the energy is to be found, in the process of simile itself, to mix modes and times and feelings in ways that are disturbing and mysterious and, for our souls’ sakes, necessary.

             William Meredith (1919–2007)

2 comments:

Collin said...

...to mix modes and times and feelings in ways that are disturbing and mysterious and, for our souls’ sakes, necessary.

Yes.

Michael Parker said...

I followed a link from Pris' site. A great quote, Sam. I too love the closing statement, as Collin noted.