Thursday, August 17, 2006

Or put another way,

"Poetry, for me, is a witnessing to magnitude. It is the art of making urgent values manifest and of imposing them on the reader. It is the housing of these values in poems, so they will exist with maximum pressure and for the longest time. It is the craft of doing so in structures that are a delight in themselves. And it is the mystery of fashioning poems in such a way that the form and content are one.

What poetry chiefly is not for me is an entertainment. I recognize that there are other ways than mine to approach poetry: that for many it is an aesthetic recreation, the making of beautiful objects; or it is the congenial play of the imagination over a subject; or it is an exercise in expertise. It is not so for me. There is a voice in me that stubbornly sings of a largeness beyond formal considerations, sings of love and death, god and evil, lust, honor, and the major business of life. I believe these can be considered with profit. I am convinced that poetry is the best way to do so. I believe that poetry does make things happen--finally. I believe poetry deals with life--with my life...."

-- Jack Gilbert from "The Landscape of American Poetry in 1964"

2 comments:

revgrant said...

Would that this statement be the contemporary version of the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads. Wondering, can such a statement of any sort get enough traction in today's world for a movement/trend/school to cohere around?

sara kearns said...

Hey Matt, you're it.

Okay, I got "tagged" by Laurel Dodge with a book meme that's been going around. Now I've tagged you. I'd be really interested to see your answers. Lemme know if you need the questions & I can send them to you, or just look on my blog and copy&paste.