Monday, July 18, 2011

Successive Surprises

To begin with, a poem.  Marge Piercy's "Colors Passing Through Us" that includes the lines,

"Every day I will give you a color,
like a new flower in a bud vase
on your desk. Every day
I will paint you, as women
color each other with henna
on hands and on feet."

Why read poetry?

"The great function of poetry is to give us back the situations of our dreams."  


"To read poetry is essentially to daydream."  

~ Gaston Bachelard (from The Poetics of Space)

How to read poems?

"When I don't understand a poem, or part of it, I don't insist: I try to be satisfied with what I understand, and I'm sure that another time, under other conditions, I'll understand more and understand something else...The understanding of a poem comes in successive surprises."  

~ Juan Ramon Jimenez (from The Complete Perfectionist)

What is it to be a poet?  

"I call 'poet' any writing being who sets out on this path, in quest of what I call the second innocence, the one that comes after knowing, the one that no longer knows, the one that knows how not to know.

I call 'poet' any writer, philosopher, author of plays, dreamer, producer of dreams, who uses life as a time of 'approaching.'"

~ Helene Cixous (from Coming to Writing and Other Essays)

I was thinking today, as I struggled over a few lines in my novel, that I still feel like I'm a poet, even if I'm writing prose.  Maybe because what I'm most interested in is producing dreams.  

It really was a lame writing day.  Insomnia last night followed by an early morning thunder/lightning storm so that I was feeling mossy and blurry all day.  But that's fine.  I listened to music and baked a coconut loaf instead. 
I mostly listened to The Innocence Mission this aft - love the way she sings, 'stay calm' in this song.  

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