Monday, March 27, 2017

The greatness of small things …

 First Known When Lost: Absence.

"All poetry is in a sense love-poetry." Edward Thomas makes this suggestion at the end of a paragraph in which, discussing the unique power of poetry, he states: "If what poets say is true and not feigning, then of how little account are our ordinary assumptions, our feigned interests, our playful and our serious pastimes spread out between birth and death. . . [Poetry] is the utterance of the human spirit when it is in touch with a world to which the affairs of 'this world' are parochial." Edward Thomas, Feminine Influence on the Poets (Martin Secker 1910), pages 86-87.
I think that these are wonderful, and true, observations. But might it not also be said that all poems are elegies? This may be a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other: an elegy is an expression of love (a greater or a lesser love, depending upon the nature of the relationship between the elegist and the departed). There are various types and degrees of love, and the potential objects of our love are innumerable. But what all love has in common is this: the belovèd may leave us. Hence, love poems. Hence, elegies.
I love the painting of the house on the canal.

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