Thursday, May 14, 2009

The disaster comes

The disaster comes when everything is defined as behavior or as an expression of society - art, literature, and religion - (the wonderful phrase "God is 'only society transfigured and symbolically expressed'" turns up - I think it's Durkheim). The difficulty is the word express. Art, literature, and religion are none of them expressions of either society or the self. They are activities of content - passion and thought - the relation of a man to the world as the world calls to him, and the activity is not simply relational. I will for this occasion stick to poetry. No serious poetry can be described as self-expression. This is to confuse the strictly private with what is defined as public and permanent. (I am not concerned here with bad art.) The strictly private can only be read in terms of behavior and generality. Otherwise the private is invisible. Behavior becomes a substitute for the public, knowledgeable "inter-est" - what is between us - and we wind up with problems in our cities.

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The reading of a poem is the re-enactment of the images of contact with the world.

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I am asked why I write - and the answer lies in the statement that the life process is not the highest good. Poets are men who have grasped the essential relationship between invisible passions and invisible thought to the real. They objectify in a form which is an activity.

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Words are instruments. The sounds are so important; it is as if something outside of oneself called. We loan our clothes to the World. We have clothed the world and god in our clothes.

-- Robin Blaser

1 comment:

Dale said...

Don, this is a great quote, and runs parallel with some thoughts just posted at Possum Ego...