A world without poetry and poets would be like a world without music and musicians. For me, such a world would be intolerable. I also have no doubt that would be seen as such by most everybody else in this world of ours.
One of the highest aspirations of humanity is to create, to make something that never existed before, something that will withstand the test of time and poetry is a great way to achieve such an aspiration.
It is not really practical to attempt to separate the poet from the poem, but I would like to relay some thoughts on poetry and then move on to thoughts on the poet.
Poetry is form created by the soul. It is a juggling and laying out of objects in the natural world, words of the spirit and experience of life and of living. It is the use of symbols placed just so, in such delicate order to speak of the visions perceived by the individual to the whole. It is the deepest and most beautiful of forms in which we relate our worlds and experiences to one another. To set on high the uncommon and most common concerns of the heart. It’s aim is truth, truth as it is realized by the poet. And like the old saying goes, truth is beauty and beauty is truth. Poetry can uphold any human emotion, any human thought, any human experience to the cleansing light of the spirit. Poetry can enlighten, amuse, relate and define. It can satirize, analyse, sing and illicit a unity among us. It puts all human relation in the poet’s perspective.
And now some thoughts on the poet. Within the poet is an empty space. A space that demands to be filled and the poem is that filling. And once that space is filled, the poet exorcises and lays out that newly filled space for the world to see.
As Ralph W. Emerson has said so eloquently; “The poet is a sayer, a namer and represents beauty. He is a sovereign and stands on the center. For the world is not painted, or adorned but is from the beginning beautiful; and God has not made just some beautiful things, but beauty is the creator of the universe. Therefore the poet is not any permissive potentate, but is emperor in his own right. Criticism is infested with an air of materialism which assumes that manual skill and activity is the first merit of all persons.”
Poets are natural sayers that are sent into the world to the end of expression. The doers never quite understand the sayers and even less, approve of them.
Emerson relates what a certain poet described for him (Emerson doesn’t give the name of the poet);
“Genius is the activity that repairs the decay of things, whether wholly or partly of material and finite kind. Nature, through all her kingdoms insures herself. Nobody cares for the planting of the lowly fungus; so she shakes down from the gills of one mushroom countless spores, any of which transmits billions of spores tomorrow or the next day. The new mushroom of the hour has a chance which the old one did not. This bit of seed is thrown into a new place, not subject to the accident that destroyed the parent only a few yards away. Nature makes a person and having brought that person to a ripe age she will not run the risk of losing this wonder to the whims of a breeze, but detaches from that person a new self, the kind that may be safe from accidents to which the parents were exposed.
So when the soul of the poet has come to ripeness of thought Nature detaches it and sends away from the poet his/her poems or “songs.”
I will not place myself among the greats such as Homer or Aeschylus, or Frost or Dickinson, but I was asked recently by someone here if I ever had a feeling of a prior existence or some remembrance of the past that I could not account for. So I will offer a poem that I had written about a girl that I met:
A Gust of Remembrance
I was graced by he hello
Her innocent acceptance of me
Her thought evoking appreciation
Of my words so desperately penned.
She was a chilling gust of remembrance
A gentle soul of great demand
With the touch of angels in her hand.
A twist of fate to compliment acquaintance.
She possessed a beauty with an almost vengeance,
Knowing her for days too few
Centuries passed and ages flew
She was a chilling gust of remembrance. will write again on the nature of poetry and poets, including the thoughts of those that are more eloquent than I am. But I would like to invite all here to post some of your own poems, or your favorite poems by other poets.