Sunday, 8 January 2017

What is Poetry?



Your poetry arises of its own accord; when you and the object have become one; when you have delved deep enough into the object to apprehend within it some hidden glimmering

Basho

What is a lovely phrase?
One that has mopped up as much truth as it can hold

Virgina Woolf

It is six A.M., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth. It does not extend to the lost button, or the beans in the pot. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all. 
There is no other way work of artistic worth can be done. And the occasional success, to the striver, is worth everything. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time. 
Mary Oliver

Listen to WB Yeats reading his poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree