Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

'Death is the mother of beauty'

It seems posting blogs begets blog posts, so this silence seems unbreakable. I have been busy elsewhere though. There have been a couple of reviews here and a couple there. And there's more to come.

The other night, without anything to say or the wish to say it, I read with the sole purpose of unloading the burden of consciousness. I read Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens. Of course I had read it before, perhaps many times, but never like the other night. It was exceptionally moving; as moving as a poem can be, I'd imagine. It surprised me. I wanted to write a blog about the play of light and dark and such like within the poem; the way it celebrated and lamented the world in which we have to exist, but thinking about it would have involved remaining awake. So I switched off the lamp.

Then I saw Dan Green's post on the staggering remarks about Stevens by Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry. When I read what the unquestioning Wiman had said, the isolation and darkness out of which the pleasure of reading Sunday Morning emerged, which at the time was almost too much to bear, began to seem necessary.

Poetry is not congenial to $100m grants or any politically-orientated, state-sponsored programs encouraging a herd of independent voices. Christian Wiman, Ms Lilly? What a waste of money.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:06 am

    Agreed. Awesome. Bravo. Huzzah!

    ReplyDelete

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