Monday, October 16, 2006

"[T]he courage to touch the heat collapsing"

[Posted by reader_iam]

Or, why--for example--I have not given up on poetry in a time the reality of which seems more suited to vicious prose and ruthless non-fiction:
What creates poetry, you ask
and I, like the coal man in the Basque movie,
run to brace the tumbling stack of coal.
We’re talking about a lifesaving act, I say,
the courage to touch the heat collapsing.

(For full text of poem by Dvora Amir, see here.)

I write in the Hebrew language
which is not my mother tongue, to
lose myself in the world. He who doesn’t
get lost, will never find the whole.
Because everyone has the same
toes. Left big toe
by right heel.

(For full text of poem by Salman Masalha, see here.)
They measure the circumference and sound the depths of human nature with a comprehensive and all penetrating spirit, and they are themselves perhaps the most sincerely astonished at its manifestations, for it is less their spirit than the spirit of the age. Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration, the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present, the words which express what they understand not, the trumpets which sing to battle and feel not what they inspire: the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World.
--Percy Bysshe Shelley

Speaking of and for myself, only and absolutely, I fear--truly fear--falling into what I would personally, and again only for myself, consider the abyss of following many of Thomas Love Peacock's premises to their logical conclusions.

I cling, I cling to poetry's wing
Lest altogether I forget how to sing

Update: What inspired this post?