Male C. Pig a.k.a. Svinopolist (piggymouse) wrote,
Male C. Pig a.k.a. Svinopolist

Roethke on poet as an instrument

Читаю маленькими порциями "On Poetry & Craft" — сборник эссе товарища Теодора Рётке на разные темы, в основном связанные с поэзией и поэтической техникой. Выпишу сюда начало "Open Letter", где Тед типа как бы отвечает на просьбу разъяснить, что же он такое понаписал в своих стихотворениях.

DEAR _________,

You must realize that only a most high regard for you as a person induces me to say anything. For don’t most statements or credos degenerate into elaborate defenses of one’s own sort of thing: into the sales talk , the odious pimping for oneself? And how vulgar to be solemn about miseries and agitations which one has been permitted to escape by the act of creation itself! Furthermore, these particular poems — and I say this detachedly and humbly— are not, in any final sense, mine at all: they are a piece of luck (good or bad, as you choose to judge). For once, in other words, I am an instrument.

But I can hear you saying, That’s all very well, old fellow. An instrument, yes. But remember: a conscious instrument. It’s no good your trying to play the blubbering boy or implying that you’re some kind of oversize aeolian harp upon which strange winds play uncouth tunes. Or, you may continue, changing the metaphor, let’s say you fish, patiently, in that dark pond, the unconscious, or dive in, with or without pants on, to come up festooned with dead cats, weeds, tin cans, and other fascinating debris — I still insist that my little request for a few more clues isn’t the same as asking you to say hello mom on the television. There need be no undue exposure; you won’t have to pontificate. Remember: some noble spirits in the past — Blake, Yeats, Rilke, and others — have been willing to hold forth on their own work…

You see, dear _________, I know your attitude so well that I find myself being caught up in it! But believe me: you will have no trouble if you approach these poems as a child would, naïvely, with your whole being awake, your faculties loose and alert. (A large order, I daresay!)

Tags: quote, roethke

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