Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The why of poetry …

… Poetry Daily Prose Feature - Christian Wiman: He Held Radical Light. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Poetry itself—like life, like love, like any spiritual hunger—thrives on longings that can never be fulfilled, and dies when the poet thinks they have been. And what is true for the poem is true for the poet: "No layoff from this condensery," as Lorine Niedecker says, no respite from the calling that comes in the form of a question, no ultimate arrival at an answer that every arrangement of words is trying to be. Perhaps only bad poets become poets. The good ones, though they may wax vatic and oracular in public, and though they may even have full-fledged masterpieces behind them, know full well that they can never quite claim the name.

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