Only poetry can mend a rupture in our civilization.– John Carey, P.Hd.
Poetry as a Window to the Unconscious
By Denver Butson
A man standing at the bus stop
reading the newspaper is on fire
Flames are peeking out
from beneath his collar and cuffs
His shoes have begun to meltThe woman next to him
wants to mention it to him
that he is burning
but she is drowning
Water is everywhere
in her mouth and ears
in her eyes
A stream of water runs
steadily from her blouseAnother woman stands at the bus stop
freezing to death
She tries to stand near the man
who is on fire
to try to melt the icicles
that have formed on her eyelashes
and on her nostrils
to stop her teeth long enough
from chattering to say something
to the woman who is drowning
but the woman who is freezing to death
has trouble moving
with blocks of ice on her feetIt takes the three some time
to board the bus
what with the flames
and water and ice
But when they finally climb the stairs
and take their seats
the driver doesn’t even notice
that none of them has paid
because he is tortured
by visions and is wondering
if the man who got off at the last stop
was really being mauled to death
by wild dogs.
Poetry as a Secondary Induction
Poetry, like music, is to be heard.– Basil Bunting
Poetry as Suggestion
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
...many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside.
We must accept our reality as vastly as we possibly can; everything, even the unprecedented, must be possible within it... Some people only come to know one corner of their room.
...we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience.
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence something helpless that wants our love.
Don’t search for the answers, which would not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born...
When Nothing Else Works – Throw Poetry at Them
My heart rouses thinking to bring you news of something that concerns you and concerns many men. Look at what passes for the new. You will not find it there but in despised poems. It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.