22 sept. 2006

Isn't a solo by John Coltrane much more amazing than seeing someone bench-press 10,000 pounds, or turn themselves into a bear? Those other acts might be impossible, but what Coltrane does should be impossible too. Even more so! Not in the physical sense of moving his fingers so fact, but in the ability to come up with something that amazing. Coltrane's solo is highly meaningful, but its meaning is in itself, or in our reaction to its amazingness, which is a kind of awe that we are even alive to hear such things. That's what poetry is about, a feeling of awe in the face of human creativity. I sometimes almost see a particular light coming up from the page when I read something that has that kind of quality, that absolute luminosity. Some people call this "spiritual." I don't care whether you call it that, or whether you don't call it that, but it has nothing to do with having poetry with religious "themes." In fact, it has little to do with any sort of theme at all.

Would anyone expect the "Best American Insurance Co." to really have the best insurance? That would be a mighty big coincidence.

2 comentarios:

Joseph Duemer dijo...

Sometime a line of poetry--not the meaning, but the line itself--brings me to tears. That something so wonderful could even exist. Crazy. Impossible, yes, but sitting right there for you to see or hear, just like the solo.

Anónimo dijo...

The first time I listened to Mingus Ah Um was a spiritual experience for me. I found myself reacting vocally and physically, as if the music was literally moving me. I looked at my roommate like he was the crazy one when he asked what I was doing.

I tend to describe that sort of deep, personal response as "spiritual," because it's nearly identical something I feel exclusively in religious contexts. I guess it's that occasional warm, squishy feeling I get when I'm really feeling connected.