Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stephen Hickey's piece in response to Wendell Berry's poem, How to Be a Poet

Stephen Hickey
Wendell Berry's How to Be a Poet works for him.  Perhaps there is some inspiration for all of us but I think he leaves a lot out that would later have occurred to him and he would have a never-ending and never-to-be- finished grand and grander opus if he were to add all that will occur to him.
And this is just for him now and him to come.
For the rest of us the problems multiply and need to be adjusted to fit ourselves.
Let us consider, what is the stuff of poetry?  What can it include, what needs to be left out?
Can some things be poetry for some but vain unnecessary mundanities for others?
I guess it's how it's thought of and how expressed that makes almost anything the stuff of poetry.
For me poetry can be what you need at the moment; what Berry describes is of what he needed at the moment he wrote it down.
Poetry is the progression of our constantly changing psyches, what stays with us when we have moved on and reach back for when we need to remember, what we experienced to help us in the now, things that lasted
for our needs now. 
Silence and nothingness seem the poetry of death. The fear and hysteria which they bring
us now are the poetry of the now.  The helpless is the poetry of the what-is-to-come.
The Poetries of the now are the straw that not quite make that bale that might float
and bear us for a while as the hopes of life, no matter how well-filled, will be the vanity
of the eternities we all inhabit.
These are the poetries we will need in the times to come.
These are the poetries we have always had.  There is only hope in the uncertainties
and in the shapelessness of these thoughts.

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