Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Poetry, Silence, Noise.

"Poetry today has lost its relationship with silence.

The word is searching and hunting for something to convey.

But the real poet starts in possession of the object,
and goes in search of the words, and not vice versa.

Today the poet's words go to all words. It can combine
with many things, attract many things to itself,
seem more than it really is.

In fact the word seems to be sent out to catch other words.

And so it comes about that the writer today presents
far more than he actually possesses himself.

His person is less than what he writes;
he is not identical with his work.

And he therefore tends to undergo frequent crises
on account of this discrepancy.

It is even demanded of poetry today that it
should represent the world of noise; that noise
should be audible in poetry as it is everywhere else.

It is imagined that the noise could be overcome
by forcing it into verse.

But it is not possible to overcome the noise
of the external world with the noise of poetry,
for the noise of poetry starts competing
with the noise of the external world, and the
two noises rattle along beside each other.

Noise can be overcome only by something
that is utterly different.

Orpheus did not overcome the underworld
by becoming as dark as the underworld
but by the wholly different
bright sound of his song."

-Max Picard, The World of Silence

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