Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

An eye with brain

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There is no less need of organization even if we do not employ the established meter and rhyme. Likewise, if a poet must state his or her personal history, he or she may be asked to be as brief as possible. It is easier to read epigrams than to read the diary, no matter how short the latter may be. The age of confession perished with the Parnassians. We are a vastly other type of soul—if we are soul at all, which I keenly doubt. The poet’s attitude then, for today, is toward the outside. This does not necessarily imply surface. We present ourselves in spite of ourselves. We are most original when we are most like life. Life is the natural thing. Interpretation is the factitious. Nature is always variable. To have an eye with brain in it—that is, or rather would be, the poetic millennium.

—Marsden Hartley, “The Business of Poetry”

Written by nevalalee

October 8, 2018 at 7:30 am

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