Re-reading Adam Kirsch's essay : it seems too neat, too simplified, to speak of "poets of world" and "poets of earth", though the temptation is strong to seek these kinds of resolutions. Van Gogh's peasant shoes, in the context of Heidegger, make me think not so much of humble, a-historical simplicity, but of the discarded mountains of shoes etc. - remnants of the Holocaust (& then of Philip Guston's forlorn & comic footwear). History and nature are mingled together. Heaney, Simic, & other poets like them may make the effort to distance themselves from grand historical/imperial narratives - very understandable after the 20th century, as Kirsch explains - but doesn't this come at the cost of reducing poetry to a minor art? According to Kirsch, Heidegger sets the terms for the metaphysical/spiritual poetry of our time; but Heidegger's mysticism seems to require the building of a wall between metaphysics and history. All philosophy, I suppose, tries to transume the chaotic flow of history within its ordering categories (even if these are post-structural anti-categories); but I think there are forms of both secular-pragmatic philosophy, and types of religious faith (ie. both Judaism & Christianity), which would not admit to a separation between time, history and metaphysics.

Stevens' (& perhaps Guston's) "noble rider" - the "nobility" of the imagination - doesn't renounce or seek to avoid the violent reality of history; it pushes back against it.

(Meanwhile, I've put in a library request for the Heidegger piece, so I can see the original.)

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