Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for February 3rd, 2013

“We will feel assent in our quickening pulse…”

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Donald Hall

There is a nonintellectual beauty in the moving together of words in phrases—”the music of diction”—and in resolution of image and metaphor. The sophisticated reader of poetry responds quickly to the sensual body of a poem, before he interrogates the poem at all. The pleasure we feel, reading a poem, is our assurance of its integrity. (So Pound said that technique is the test of sincerity.) We will glance through a poem rapidly and if it is a skillful fake we will feel repelled. If the poem is alive and honest, we will feel assent in our quickening pulse—though it may take us some time to explain what we were reacting to.

Donald Hall, Claims for Poetry

Written by nevalalee

February 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

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