1 feb. 2007

There is no image-ideal of the poet I have any interest in inhabiting. Meek, daydreaming office worker (Pessoa)? Rugged outdoorsman? Decadent aesthete? Road-tripping hobo? Scruffy therapist? Distinguished Professor? I don't want to be a poet. I want to write poetry, but not have a poet as something that I have to BE.

8 comentarios:

Jordan dijo...

Really? You want to be undercover even while you're writing the poem? Especially then?

Pardon me for saying, but that doesn't square with the JM-persona of Bemsha Swing, so confident in his judgments...

But yes, I too have met at least one poet in a hurry to embody some received idea of le poete.

Jonathan dijo...

Especially then, yes. It's not a lack of confidence per se. More of a distaste for the available repertory of personae. Yankee farmer full of homespun wisdom? Lorcaesque dandy? Sensitive soul? Nothing really fits.

Jordan dijo...

Quoth Kit Robinson: I is a massive bundle of mild quirks.

Or are you abjuring the possibility even of what they used to call originality?

Kenneth remarked that Ted Williams was a very original hitter.

Jonathan dijo...

Do people really think of themselves as "poets" at the moment of writing? In other words, does this cultural baggage intrude? For example, that's one thing I don't like in certain poems of Ted Berrigan. He thought of himself as a "poet" in a particular sense, apart from someone just writing a poem. It's even more damaging when carried over into other parts of life.

I'm not saying it's avoidable either, just that it makes me feel kind of uncomfortable. Maybe that's why I'm not a very successful poet. It could explain a lot! If I really were able to avoid all that "poet" stuff and still write, I'd be more, not less, original, wouldn't I?

John dijo...

The Renaissance poets weren't poets. They wrote poetry in the midst of busy lives.

The apotheosis of Poet-Identity another, hitherto unrecognized, efflorescence of the Cartesian flood?

Jonathan dijo...

I think Virgil and Horace had a highly developed sense of themselves as "poets." Shakespeare too, in the sonnets. Of course after Romanticism this is much amplified.

John dijo...

The Renaissance poet could be any sort of person -- soldier, statesman, actor, scholar, priest, noblewoman (for example). The question you originally presented isn't whether Shakespeare (& Co.) had a highly developed sense of himself as a poet, it's whether or how he inhabited the poet's persona. He didn't. It didn't exist. Sure, he made the Roman claim of immortalizing the beloved in his verse (as did Spenser), which was a traditional function of the poet; but function is not role, or persona. (He didn't even publish the Sonnets!)

Henry Gould dijo...

I think poets have known all along that they are the only purple on the beach. In every era, place & circumstance.

& it's not because they think of themselves as such (poets). It's because they sense the inherent (harmonic) POWER of their MEDIUM...