Sunday, June 29, 2014
I've never been so interested in the whys of poetry. Context is just packaging or an extra spoonful to assuage the hungers of the curious. I don't much care whether Shakespeare or somebody else wrote Shakespeare. And if Ezra Pound was a fascist, if Padraig Pearse died a martyr, if Dylan Thomas drank himself to death, what business is that of mine?
What matters is the beauty or horror of the words themselves and the order in which they are placed. Are there finely tuned metaphors, exquisitely crafted to wring from us the intended emotions? Does the poet bleed on the page?
And so, I have to ask this of my educators, why is it, you gave me Walter de la Mere, and some of Kipling's lesser works (And 'If' let's face it, the least of all), and the rhymes of many among the glorious dead (with Dulce et Decorum Est thrown in to make the point that you're not warmongers)... and yet, I had to find for myself, Yeats' "the Second Coming", Sylvia Plath's "Daddy", and the plaintive Howls of Allen Ginsberg's wannabe hipster?
But it goes beyond this. What if there is more. Better works I've never been shown and will never find for myself. A poem in Mande, glistening in her own menstrual blood on the inner walls of the ship that stole her? The delicate meanderings of a broken mind unwritten because the strait jacket kept him from writing. Borges talks of a library of unwritten books and I would forego the rest of everything to spend eternity reading them