Leaving National Poetry Month on a light note: James Varney

The problem with poetry is everyone wants to be Rilke and almost no one is. Consequently, poetry is filled with flowery nonsense and is scorned.

Now that doesn’t mean one should leave Rilke unread. His poetry soars. Consider the opening of the Duino Elegies:

“Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels’

hierarchies? and even if one of them pressed me

suddenly against his heart: I would be consumed

in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing

but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure,

and we are so awed because it serenely disdains

to annihilate us. Every angel is terrifying.”

That’s a gorgeous, evocative start. So few can pull that off. Bopping around the French Quarter on a recent spectacular Saturday, I came across a thin paperback at Faulkner House Books; a collection of Jorge Luis Borges’ criticism. In a (typically) short essay “On Expressionism” he has this to

Article source: http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2013/04/leaving_national_poetry_month.html

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