Monthly Archives: December 2014

Bittern

a
bittern
hides

in
plain
sight

looking
straight
up

among
the
cattails

For Heaven and the Future

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

–Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time

To Have Been Immortal

To have been immortal transcends to become so.

–Emily Dickinson

Descriptive Hollowness

“My songs are written with the kettle drums in mind / a touch of any anxious color…with a melodic purring line of descriptive hollowness”

–Bob Dylan

Leave it to Dylan to describe his art better than anyone else.

Half Truths

About poetry we can only utter half truths.

–Theodore Roethke

Isolation, Solitude and Loneliness

“The medium of poetry isn’t language, really; its human loneliness, a loneliness that poets, having received it themselves from earlier poets, transfer to their readers. Like bees in a honeycomb, writers and reader experience isolation and solitude communally and collaboratively.”

–from Dan Chaisson’s review of Olena Davis’s new book of poems in The New Yorker, December 8, 2014

Chaisson gets his underlying idea from Harold Bloom who says that poets create an “otherness” such that loneliness is “created and alleviated at once.”

I’m not sure I agree with this narrow definition. However, and without getting too far into the weeds, I would add that our frenetic culture has given the idea of loneliness a bad rap.

Thoughts?

Art

Art is not a mirror to reflect the world but a hammer with which to shape it.

–Bertholt Brecht