Monday, February 14, 2011

2011.02.14 — Alexei Tsvetkov on Poetry from Poetry Feb 2008

Robert, in the Goodreads social networking site, cited a prose extract about poetry from the Czech poet Alexei Tsvetkov that I thought was very good. This is what he quoted:
Poetry is apparently an emotional amplifier, one that is almost neutral, morally. In fact, it flourished in times that few of us would like to see repeated. Still, many of the best poets have tamed it in the manner of Orpheus, and it appears to have lost much of its force together with its menace. Hence Auden’s observation — as well as Brodsky’s halfhearted rebellion.
And he supplied the link to read the entire piece, which turned out to be a part of an extended Journal-like entry by Tsvetkov that is very good reading.

And given that people's tastes are different, I thought the following was an even better citation:

... When I abandoned poetry, I went on to dabble in various other genres hoping I’d get closer to the truth. Well, I didn’t, of course, the truth remaining as distant as ever. But I have now rediscovered what poetry is good for. It is the only way I know how not to lie — provided, that is, I stay far enough away from the halls of  heroes.
This writing is published in the February 2008 issue of Poetry.

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