Friday, July 10, 2009

Intensity: A Poet's Stage Mother

5. Intensity: A high degree of emotional excitement; depth of feeling: The poem lacked intensity and left me unmoved. American Heritage Dictionary

If you would deepen the intensity of light, you must be content to bring into deeper blackness and more distinct and definite outline the shade that accompanies it. F. W. Robertson

Is this the F. W. Robertson who was a 19th century English preacher? (Because I wasn't familiar with the name and had figured, physicist, then googled.) Who said, "For a revelation of spiritual facts two things are needed: First, a Divine Truth; next, a spirit which can receive it"? I'm going on that assumption, and if I'm wrong, fine. I want to spend five minutes here, writing about the poet and poetry.

A poet is a receptor and a reader is a receptor. Maker and listener are equal. The difference is in how the word comes to life. Through a poet's--what--heart, soul, crafty mind or a reader's, what, heart, soul, intelligence.

The eye of the beholder, the lover's heart, the artist's need (for God, for fame, for a night of restful sleep) contrive to grasp a poem, which, being the evanescent thing it is, is without physical substance or easy-grip handles.

Poets and readers have bodies. Poems merely have representations of their essence, delegates who can be deft as the Geneva Conference or clumsy as New York State legislators. Both poet and reader are influenced by winds, light, humors, reputation. I wonder about poets who don't come to light, whose work is lost, the missing in action who didn't have the posthumous good fortune of Emily Dickinson, though I realize that's a form of lamentation for myself, a concern nothing of me or by me will last.

Glory is part of the picture. I notice a poet who told me she/he shunned all forms of establishment recognition sending poems and handmade chapbooks in the mail, posting the same on the Web or tagging readers on Facebook.

And sure, I find it difficult to have written something I love and not have someone read it, preferably an informed someone who will include it in a journal online or in print. I'm not sure why that's so but I recognize I am called to be my own stage mother. Let there be nurturing stage poet mothers, and let me be one.

Honey, Sarah, whatever you do is good enough. Keep calling on gods and God. Write. What else is important?

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