Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Poetry's Magic

A month or so ago, I came across these first lines of a poem by Samuel Amadon in an old issue of The New Yorker: 

I think I think of what I want en masse,
as concrete thinks it wants the overpass --

while wind and broken glass want heavy rains . . .  

Something happened to me when I read these lines.  I understood something new about desire, something about how my own desire isn't different from the "desire" of  concrete or wind or broken glass.  It was something about how desire is just a movement toward something -- not personal at all, not something one needs to own and decide about, just something that happens in the scheme of the universe.

I thought I would post what these lines had elicited in me but I was busy that evening, and set the task aside to do later.  "Later" turned into weeks, and when I finally got around to it, I read the lines anew and they were flat.  Where had the insight I'd had at the moment of first reading gone?

Tonight I read this explanation:

"As your mind moves in the direction of a more profound level, your intellect may not always follow.  You may be left wondering why you like a poem, why it transports you as a beautiful piece of music transports you, why it has a significance that you cannot express.  Without knowing why, you may feel a liberating joy as your awareness expands beyond its old boundaries."

-- from MYSTICAL DELIGHTS by Hilary Huttner (Frontline Systems, 1996)

This came by way of an excerpt, and the whole excerpt is wonderful as well, as it samples the mystical in poetry throughout the centuries.  I searched online to find more about this person.  She's a poet -- that's all I can find.  The book is available, but nothing about her.  Does anyone out there know if she is still alive or what she is doing now?   

No comments:

Post a Comment