Enter Into Joy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Please don't torture the poetry

Poet Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate

American poet Billy Collins wants us to “waterski across the surface of a poem.” He complains that what we do instead is “tie the poem to a chair with a rope and torture a confession out of it. They begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means.” *
His point, I think, is to free us to follow the poem down the many paths it might open, rather than getting mucked up in an attempt to find a singular meaning. The experience of poetry, or music or the sacred texts that inspired the art of the 29 Pieces project holds the possibility for exploding the notions that intellect and art, science and religion, imagination and reality are in opposition to each other. What if these things are aspects of each other?
– Charme Robarts
* Billy Collins, Introduction to Poetry


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