Notes on Poetry #1

It may be that every single assertion about poetry in general, poetry in the abstract, can be contradicted by another assertion. Poetry is as multifaceted as the language and speech from which it grows. Moreover, the word "poetry" itself suffers from many types of overuse (my own type very much included).

With these caveats... here goes, anyway.

Poetry is the blossom, the fruit, the harvest of the ear. Much has been made of its roots in imagery, dreams, the visual imagination. But every landscape "seen" in poetry is a vision interpreted by the ear. My first thought is of the immense quiet of the forest. The delicacy of muted signals and rustlings of small birds and animals, within that enveloping near-silence. The title of Eliot's book of essays, The Sacred Wood, comes to mind. Poetry sets itself apart, distinguishes itself, by means of protective rings (like a bird's nest) of quietness, hiddenness, remoteness.

I don't mean to suggest any kind of hermeticism or passive withdrawal from the brash, noisy parade – the tense moral battles – of time, history and humanity. No : rather poetry absorbs, reflects and transfigures all that loud aggressive vitality – by means of its superior powers of the ear. And these powers are rooted and refined in the vast, remote, "woodland" habitat – the quietness of the word.


Back to the future of blogging ?

I'm very belatedly trying to edit and update HG Poetics. Working on my "Blog List" sidebar, I've deleted some old or unavalaible links – and surprised to find that an extreme few of my longtime comrades from the Blogging Era are still there. Will try to explore what they're saying and doing. I've also updated the links to available HG books. Meanwhile I will ponder how to make HG Poetics more alive and interesting to Vexillologists, Poetry-Loving Expert Technicians, Distant Interlocutors, and other Readers of the Future.