The following pages contain a collection of poetry from the past two years -
most of the entries are favorites from my spiritual diary.
Preceeding the poems, below, is a wonderful description of poetry by Roger Rosenblatt of the News Hour.
...This suggests that all meaning is hidden, which Freud suggested too...
The syntax is abnormal, the logic is illogical.
Underlying that thought is that language is always
inadequate to the truth of experience -
inadequate to who we are.
So Beckett wanted to reduce his
plays to a single word. So Wallace
Stevens wrote about the nothing that is
not there and the nothing that is. But it
also goes back into poetry. Shakespeare,
no less, wrote about making nothing of nothing.
"I get it, but I can't say it. I
say it, but I can never say it all." That is
poetry, both ancient and modern.
That is why poems are constructed in columns,
or column-like arrangements in the centers of
pages, rather than the whole page itself.
Every poet says in effect, "I cannot put the truth into
words in a row. I cannot make linear sense.
So I'll put my words into stacks, like the rungs of a
ladder, and beg the reader to see that the spaces
between the rungs are where the meaning lies."
Reading between the lines is how one
makes sense of poetry. And, at the same time,
always implicit is the idea that sense is never
to be made, at least not with words. And
yet he remains the poet's poet -- not for the
voice or the bearing, not even for the individual
poems, but for the fact that he, perhaps more
than any other, knew that poetry is ambiguity,
impression and mystery; just like us readers.
Roger Rosenblatt, on
T.S. Eliot and Poetry
from the National Public Radio News Hour 4/18/01