Poetry was born from magic; it grew up with religion; it survived the age of reason; how is it to continue to be heard in the pandemonium of slogans, loud speakers, madhouse slanders, high explosive fears that seem to diffuse man in complexities of environment outrunning his capacity to grasp? The poet’s magical interpretation of the universe is confronted by the vast impersonal rationalisation of science, and once more, it is the poet, as I think Goethe says somewhere, who must take the risks. A poem is far more than a self expression. It is a strange compromise between the demands of self, the world, and Poetry. Rilke in his Archaic Torso of Apollo ends by saying, “You must change your life” and this, we know from many experiences, is what art does. It challenges the surface platitudes of existence. When complexities become dense, the poet may be said to snatch from memory, from sensation, the very seed of the future, by giving perceptions that might otherwise never be known.
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