Isn't it difficult? Not more than we are. Our complicated lives (not to speak of the LCD display on the gym treadmill) are much more difficult than most poems. We are difficult to ourselves, difficult to each other. But OK, yes, some poetic artefacts can be slightly labour-intensive. Wallace Stevens said a poem should "resist the intelligence, almost successfully" and good poems are rarely explicit. They want you to discover what you feel for yourself and don't do simplification. If you simplify, says the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, you "misrepresent what's human at the moment of pretending to celebrate it". Taking "the accessible and the easy" out of the human condition, you "blur that condition instead of defining it". (from the Guardian)
Saturday 30 December 2006
Ruth Padel urges us to make time for poetry in 2007
Ruth Padel makes her case for poetry. Maybe she's preaching to the converted, but I think she's got something here.