7.4.16

HOW CLOSE READING WORKS.

Margaret Soltan has posted the first of her Georgetown Public Library poetry lectures.  Get past the blue-state smug, and dig into the substance.  "Poetry at its best will never give you the code, the key, all the answers (and note that all the answers as given are almost always redemptive) to all the questions. It will set out all the difficult paradoxes beautifully and fully and with intellectual and emotional honesty."  The rest is in the details.
It’s worth noting that Mario Cuomo, to return to another very public man not above using “campaign poetry,” also was able to describe life in this way:

“You go from stone to stone across the morass.”

This is pure undistilled Samuel Beckett, and while The Big Shortfraudsters might hate its elegiac sadness, people who take poetry seriously are liable to appreciate it – not only its compelling imagery, but its approach to important truths.

Poetry is one art form that allows us to experience simultaneously ecstatic communion with an over-generous world, and stony despair. It tempers our too-muchness – organizes our sensibility – so that we can remain in excess and in the truth.
Go. Read. Understand.  And note, in the presentation and the examples, the absence of pomo-speak.

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