Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hey Webster, define poetry, please

Teagan Lynn Comment: Our wise proclaims poetry as "the art or work of a poet," but I think the poets define it better. Two poems, both titled "Ars Poetica," make me crave beautiful poetry.

From the first, "Ars Poetica," by Archibald Macleish, I will only pull one stanza:
A poem should not mean
But be.

And the second, "Ars Poetica," by Vicente Huidobro, as translated by David M. Guss

Let poetry be like a key
Opening a thousand doors.
A leaf falls; something flies by;
Let all the eye sees be created
And the soul of the listener tremble.

Invent new worlds and watch your word;
The adjective, when it doesn't give life, kills it.
We are in the age of nerves.
The muscle hangs,
Like a memory, in museums;
But we are not the weaker for it:
True vigor
Resides in the head.

Oh Poets, why sing of roses!
Let them flower in your poems;

For us alone
Do all things live beneath the Sun.

The poet is a little God.

Huidobro, Vicente. "Ars Poetica."
Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay
Comp. Robert DiYanni. McGraw-Hill, 1998.

What do you think defines a poet? At what point does one go from one who writes to a writer?

1 comment:

Denis Parra said...

I am from Chile, and despite Neruda, Mistral and Parra are the most famous poets (the first two earned Nobel Prizes), Vicente Huidobro is probably the only one who built his world on poetry... that's one the reasons why he is considered one of the biggest exponents of the "Creationism".

I appreciate that you keep going with your blog despite the lack of readers.