A little poetic sensibility is enough for you to know that you do not inhabit the same world as that of men. They pass you by as if they were holograms projected from another dimension, barely aware of their immediate surroundings and the intricacy that holds everything together, sways and moves everything to the same rhythm; they pass you by as if they were humans that never completely materialized, remaining half-ghosts, not really aware of the currents and tides of their own bodies, and how these merge with and echo the infinite beauty and chaos of the world outside. A little poetic sensibility goes a long way. You open your eyes, and realize you’ve been blind. You hear, feel, smell and touch as if for the first time. The world is alive. The world, as it is, is spirit, is art, it is poetry.
To see a World in a Grain of SandWilliam Blake
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
A poet is one who feels and intuits the infinite in the finite, and this from the deepest elevations of his spirit and soul.
Poets and people in whom the spirit is rich and abundant face the danger of feeling excluded and guilty on account of that which makes them rich and unique — because it also excludes them from the company of people and society, and makes the space around them so great that very few could hope or want to traverse it. Learning the usual social skills is doubly more difficult for such people, because, at first sight, it feels for them as though it is a betrayal of the spirit in them, of their uniqueness and idiosyncrasy. But that is necessary if they hope one day to become more than just poets and spiritually rich people — human beings who are full of light and mastery, conquerors of the inner realms and of their lives, a light unto humanity, and also, simply, genuinely and deeply happy people, people whose ability for joy and fulfillment is so much greater than their normal kin could ever fathom or understand.
My first poetic awakenings came with a re-appropriation of language as the creative vehicle to re-imagine the world. Language, which was dead, had to be revivified. Isolated in a world in which language had lost contact with nature and the non-human space; isolated in a world in which the human intellect and mode of appropriation of reality purged the latter of any extra-human symbols, reducing the whole world and reality to a set of objects manageable and subservient to human and economic ends; isolated in a world where humanity’s triumphant modern moment, the zenith of history, was nonetheless a cover that masked the deep chaos and anxiety moving at its heart; language presented itself to me, a mere word, embraced imaginatively, was enough to reawaken a world overshadowed and forsaken by mankind, was enough to lift me out of my isolation and back into a conversation with nature and the earth in all its elements, that world which we have reduced to mere economic resources. The poem, in its simple, unmovable presence, was a simple but fateful nudge that moved the internal ocean in me.
The poet’s ideal is the very reason for his suffering — he is unable to attain it in his life; oh, but what beauty, in its pursuit, does he make!
We are creating for ourselves a world in which it is impossible to live; and even if life was still physically possible, it would be undesirable.
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Once it is over we’ll discover it — modernity was a big lie. Modernity — an incredibly rich soil that nonetheless did not allow the growth of anything great.
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Thirty six; the year I discovered the truth about myself.
You will not be a stoic unless you favor your strength of will over the passion of your heart.
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Even us poets feel uncomfortable with harboring a poetic vision of the world. That has become a taboo nowadays, something irrational that requires psychotherapy. The secular, the mathematical, the economic — these are the permitted worldviews, all falling under the arch of Science. But one day it will dawn on mankind that there is something of the poetic in science too; that it, too, is a sort of mythology; that it, too, as the poetic, takes a root in unreason, but that it deceives itself precisely on this point, that is, at the point where it prides itself most.
My approach to poetry has always been intuitive, and it is this intuition that lead me to truths that clashed directly with what an intellectual or philosophic grasp on the world might propose. Poetry draws from the source, and philosophy, regarding that, was, rightly, cynical. Which lead me to an impasse — I could no longer surrender to poetry and its source, and yet when I attempted to subjugate myself to the lessons and outlook of philosophy it felt like I was suppressing a huge and essential part of my own self, a part without which I couldn’t be myself. This struggle ate away at a good decade of my life, diminishing the best of what I could offer, philosophically and poetically — I was diminished and weakened in both areas. This struggle is so essential to my identity and to my well being. I’m not sure how to proceed, except to say that an either/or approach to the matter is not in the least fruitful, and that the repression of poetry even at the risk of being “dogmatic” to the rational side in me is also no longer possible. Maybe what is required is a leap of faith, one that does not deny reason and philosophy, but that comes from a deeper place in the heart, a place unconcerned with appealing or being granted the approval of philosophy and reason. This while retaining philosophy and reason as essential tools with which to handle the self in its relation to the world.