Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Definitions of poetry, continued

I had been meaning to collect these. This is Rimbaud, via John Gallaher:
I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer. The poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses. Every form of love, of suffering, of madness; he searches himself, he consumes all the poisons in him, and keeps only their quintessences. This is an unspeakable torture during which he needs all his faith and superhuman strength, and during which he becomes the great patient, the great criminal, the great accursed – and the great learned one! – among men. – For he arrives at the unknown! Because he has cultivated his own soul – which was rich to begin with – more than any other man! He reaches the unknown; and even if, crazed, he ends up by losing the understanding of his visions, at least he has seen them! Let him die charging through those unutterable, unnameable things: other horrible workers will come; they will begin from the horizons where he has succumbed!
I'm changing the title of my blogroll to "Other Horrible Workers."

1 comment:

  1. Here's a def of poetry from a high school student a few years ago: "Poetry is fucking GAY." (Me: breezy, avuncular chuckle...)