Poetry is not the curation of the poet’s self nor a mode of self-transcendence. Poetry is the discovery of the self in otherness. Writing poems is a dodgy business. W.S.Graham:
Dammit these words are making faces
At me again. I hope the faces
They make at you have more love.
from “Implements in Their Places.”
My poetics in a nutshell. “Whoever crosses the space offered to the senses reconnects with a sacred water that flows through each thing”—-Lev Shestov. This “space” is the between which is reached after one has worked through the ‘senses of being’ (Desmond) by exploring in sequence the objective world, the aesthetic happening that illuminates it for us, and our drive to reduce the mystery of this world to a definitive concept.
On the brink of despair — the drive of the will exhausted— it sometimes happens that by letting things be we become aware of a fluid music as the things of this world start to sing, constructing the space Shestov refers to here.
For the poet, that space is the poem. The poet leads his reader, like Virgil in Dante, step by perplexing step, but the paradox of time —- as movement towards a horizon AND as luminous immanence —- mixes the Christian consciousness and the pagan with remainder.
crossing the ice with Eros barefoot
keep your mitts off my Plato mythlover
analysis loosens me your low laughter
On your thigh I count syllables touched
Charles Tomlinson captures the humor and joy —- and self-deprecation—- of Horace’s image of himself as a between in Ode II20, final poem of book 2. “Biformis vates.” (Horace in English, Penguin Books, 1996, 294)