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Monday, August 11, 2003
  Yeah I get it, poetry isn't there to be thought about as much as it is there to be felt... the only line from Briggflats I really love is, 'Follow the clue patiently and you will understand nothing'
Rilke is hard to talk about without sounding like Young Werther, the tawdry teen heronbone conjures so nicely... but there are two kinds of poetry readers, there are those that read because it makes them feel clever, and those than read because it makes them feel. Rilke may cycle through boredom (though I don't get that), longing (clearly I do) and rapture (ditto and I agree non-christian but definitely theistic all the same)... its the leap from that typical experience to weep-worthy words that make the whole thing worth thinking about after you put the book down...

Comfortably greater than Auden, but why? Why is 'he read braille for traces of her feet' a more accurate description of grief than 'stop the clocks'... because looking at death is banal, but experiencing death is not. The arch queasy middling-English desire to break down heightened experience into a procession of cliches about dogs barking and bells ringing, topped off with a coup de grace of ever-so-slightly hat-tipping transcendence doesn't ring true, it isn't honest... its so honest it has in fact become dishonest. Death, love, longing whatever other experiences you want to add to the list, they belong in Rilke for the very reason that to be totally less-deceived you have to accept that although you get older you are still capable of feeling exactly the same way as you did when you were young, you're capable of losing proportion... of believing the world is different when you think about it, or observe it; believing that God actually talks to you, singles you out.

What Bunting was getting at was the idea that like beauty, simplicity is hard. A unified theory if ever found will be a single equation that describes the Universe, a single unbroken stream of letters and numbers and functions that encapsulate the almost infinite complexity of all that exists... it will be simple but it will contain everything that is difficult and troubling

another asshole labeling good and bad with a dash of stylized prose
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