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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Simon's comments on Ted Plantos/Lake Poets/PurdyFest/can poetry save the world???

hi Chris,
What follows is the post i wanted to leave at Riffs and Ripples but the sight was not allowing me to post.
i would repeatedly send me to the log in page - i logged in with my gmail account.  oh well, great blog entry :)
Here goes:
Somewhere out there and here with me Ted LIVES . . . Chris i am pleased to have read your hasty review of Purdy Fest. #4 :) . . . i too "warmly remember last summer." :) . . . and i am quite pleased Conrad’s remarks sparked a passionate, informative response. J

You mentioned how Ted had favourites among the "Lake District Romantics" . . . i have heard that term before and do not know much about this group :) . . . SO, i googled the phrase as is the fashion in the 21st century :) . . . and found myself reading links that would bring me right back to your blog Chris :)
. . . however, i did see one link that brought to me, where Wordsworth was said to have referenced one of Lake D. Romantics as stating, “Poets are legislators of the world.”  i found this somewhat provocative; so, i clicked on the link to and found the following Question:

Can Poetry save the World?

And then i thought of you Chris J when i read what followed the question:

"In Godard's film "Notre Musique," the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish contemplates on the role of poetry in social/political/national conflicts. His main example is Greece. He says he is looking for "the poet of Troy." He wonders if poetry is a tool or a symbol of power, i.e. whether the Greeks took Troy because of their poetic superiority, or if their poetic superiority was a symbol of their overall superiority."

Do you find this all academic?  i found it somewhat interesting. :)

Then what followed was a host of question that got me thinking some more.  What do you think about the following questions?

"What then is the role of poetry in contemporary conflict? Can it help ease the tension between nations? Can it give power to those who need it? Can we make poetry a part of our identities, and a tool for our progress? Or have we given that right only to our technology?

I wonder what Milt & Big Al would say?  Would they blow off these questions as more dribble to occupy academics and distract the masses from their own communal production? :)

Through you and shared friends like Jeff S., James and Jim L. i have learnt more about and read our favourite Canadian non-academic poets, Acorn, Purdy and Ted.  This is why i LOVE PURDY FEST.  What has inspired me to write poetry is the very fact that Acorn and Purdy were self-educated . . . so, I was so please you mentioned CanPoet/People's Poet Bill Bissett, "another self-taught poet."  i shared the stage with him and other poets at an event at the ArtWord Art Bar in Hamilton last year.  Now that was one of the most SUPER FANTASTICAL AAH INSPIRING days of my life :)

And YES, “the dance continues between the academics and the 'Wild Ones'” :) . . . the brave ones in and outside the academic walls :) . . . i feel that the more citizens that dance, the more poetry will be created, shared and remembered.

I thank you Conrad and Chris for providing the ground work for me to build this series of poetic comments.  I agree with you Chris that this certainly is “an interesting start to a ongoing dialogue about the interaction between academia and poetry.”

Peace, Poetry and Performance power! :D
There it is :)
May 29/11
Thanks for all your food-for-thought, Simon  : )
My system has been acting up this afternoon, so I'm hoping to finally post this and reply to some of your ideas and questions later.
Before I do so, tho, I'm going to brush up on Percy Bysshe Shelley's insightful essay:
A Defense of Poetry
Shelley wrote it in 1821, but it wasn't published until 1840, years after his death.
The final sentence reads:
Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
peace & poetry power!
Chris & Chase ... wrfffffffffffffffffffffff!


Conrad DiDiodato said...

"What then is the role of poetry in contemporary conflict?"

Great question, Simon! My answer is that poetry can play a decisive role: I'd even goes so far as to suggest that poets (not politicians, religious leaders, political analysts, etc) could demonstrate through their writings a type of attitude conducive to peace.

But poets won't actually spell out any particular platforms so much as reveal a spirit of compassion, respect for cultural differences & an outrage at anything that looks like self-interest, all defining features of the world's most significant literary figures and their oeuvres.

I cannot think of any important poet who'd espouse in verse anything wildly sectarian or nationalistic, anything approximating to, say, a justification for robbing Palestinians of more of their Gaza homeland. If a poet did, he wouldn't be a real poet.So in a sense Obama's solution is given with a poet's heart & sensitivity.

But it's also best for poets not to play overtly to this poet-prophet role: Layton looked his most ridiculous whenever he did and it's probably why the Nobel eluded him. Ego and pretentiousness in a poet never work; the writings should speak for themselves. And, above all else, it's necessary to break the strangehold academia has over poetry today. It must be the spontaneity of a poet who writes only as s/he's moved by a spirit of creativity, generosity & love that's to be celebrated. Purdy fest exemplies this.

Chris Faiers/cricket said...

June 1/11
"Can poetry save the world?"

Simon, this is an intriguing question. I believe poetry can help individuals find their truest, deepest selves, esp. through the writing and reflecting on spiritual poetry like haiku.

This inner search can ultimately lead to a Buddhist-style enlightenment. So the individual poet/seekers can 'save' themselves, altho not initially 'the world'.

I believe, like William Blake, that 'I must create my own universe or else be enslaved in another man's'.

But when enough humans have attained personal 'enlightenment', then the potential for the future survival and evolution of this hillbilly planet will be given a huge boost.

So I truly believe poetry can help to save the world, first thru individuals raising their consciousness (call this enlightenment in its highest form) - and then this collectivity of 'enlightened' humans, aided by poetry, will have the knowledge and selfless energy to 'save' the world.

first microcosm, then macrocosm
first individuals, then the species - then the planet

To summarize, poetry can lead to human enlightenment, which will then manifest thru benevolent and cooperative behaviour for the survival and evolution of our planetary consciousness. (Gaia)

peace & poetry power!