Not thinking very clearly about it, but I seem to be dwelling today on the distance between the actuality of poems, and the area of discussion & criticism about same.

I'm one of the very guilty ones, responsible for sending up great eye-wincing drafts of smoke & bother.

The distance between the state of creative receptivity and inspiration, on the one hand, and everyday cognition & discourse (& non-cognition, and non-discourse) on the other.

Thinking about Wallace Stevens' (seemingly) vague notions about "poetry" (per se) and the "poetry of life", and their relations.

The feeling, in my own experience of writing poems (when it seems genuine), that something has been born. Not just words, but an event - a concrete experience in several dimensions. As if every poem is an occasion, an occasional poem.

As if there is this sort of angelic or seraphic world of beauty & pathos, of which we are mostly ignorant, unaware. (Yeats's or James Merrill's business with the automatic writing representing this reality in a sort of parodic/satanic mirror.) And the perfect poems stem from and inhabit their world of perfection. Or perhaps I should say living poems, in a world of life.

And the rest is utter (moral, psychological, aesthetic) futility - ink, smoke, scribbles.

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