A few thoughts about poetry

For me, poetry is: trying to hold onto something – something elusive but encircling. Like a silver fish which darts towards, away, we are captivated, implicated, compelled, into a sort of mystical aquatic dance. Sometimes a wrestling match. Always an interplay – a counterpointing if you like – between thought and no thought, absence and presence, substance and ether, self and world. Poetry is not just perceiving the pattern in the fabric, but a willful act of instilling, engraving more deeply, that pattern. It is an accentuation, an attempt at ‘making definite’ that which is ever beyond definition, beyond grasp – that which is always drawing us forwards, onwards, backwards, any place other than emptiness. If poetry were a sleep, then it would not be a dreamless forgetting, but a dreamland of vision and power, a knowing, and a place of seeing and being filled. A place from which we emerge energised, affected, imbued, changed, and in some way fulfilled – sometimes happily, sometimes not. It is the origin, source and destination of all earthly journeys. It is a pilgrimage.

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