About scraped red milk and poet-killers
The „political” problem of poetry is basically a „control-freak” syndrome. Whether poets/poetry is/are acknowledged, or whether poets are „legislators”, is actually a social problem, which itself is a humongous identity problem. Probably every poet, who wants to influence the reality – other humans, is on a don Quixotic quest, fighting huge illusions and therefore, a poet has to learn to deal with this illusion. The best way to deal with the illusion is to recognize it and treat it „as” such. Why would a poet want to influence others? Is poem a weapon? Is poem a law?
I always had a strong association that a poem is like a sharp tip of a weapon which is intended to pierce, and in best case kill. Pierce what, kill what? Not to pierce the illusion, but to disenchant it. To take off the mask(s). To make everyone (actually himself) understand and acknowledge the truth! (Now this is the control-freak syndrome!)
It is my opinion and my experience, that we are trying to pierce this frozen and imposing picture of the (human) world. Because the world only pretends to be what it (whatever) pretends to be, though it is one thing only – a floating experience, a constant change – the change itself (despite its contents). So, if there really is something to pierce, it is our own misunderstanding of things. A poet, in the first place, talks to him/herself.
A wall of ice… It is about total misunderstanding of life – without death! Drunk with intensity (like being young), poets try to capture this intensity in their work – for later use. Alas! This can never work. It does work, but in a completely unexpected manner. A work of art, which captures the intensity, the force, does emanate the same force – and this is the only measure for a work of art. But force does not create illusions – it melts and disintegrates them. An attempt to use poetry as a social law fails because of this. Poetry does not give life, because where there is life there is also death. It disenchants life, mocks the will for immortal life – for there is immortality, but it is not the life! Deal with this, if you really are a poet…
This is why socialization of poetry is not possible. This is why established poets are not true poets – they are a bunch of immoral people who are using their poems as tools of manipulation (passive or active): the means of immorality. Society does not produce poetry, nor supports it. It’s the other way around. Poetry is critical (and not hypocritical) and therefore it destroys, cuts, pierces (society). Poetry is the enemy. How can a poet ever dream of being acknowledged by others – by society? Such one must be corrupted beyond repair.
A good example is of course the best example. Homer… Iliad, in which he described a horde of brigands, robbers, kidnappers – later in society promoted to heroes, beautiful people! An endless warfare, with no true, sincere beginning and with no end (there’s no end in Iliad itself), others constructed the end and to be continued…
Bandits spring out of Homer’s blind eyes – Alexander’s greatest treasure… Society turns poetry into history, into statistics, into documents of possession. Society accepts poets only as a proof of its true origin, as progenitors – but poets shun this theft. They go blind, they isolate themselves. Poets walk away. If they want to knock at the doors of society, they bring the walls down! Poets are like mythical dragons. Myths are active forces influencing human lives, but those who created them are anonymous. Society does not acknowledge the true legislators – it punishes them by forgetting their names! (Erase them from our precious statistics!) Then, society engages heroes to kill the beast which will not be timid. Then these heroes become the actual progenitors of society – the poet-killers.
And, to the point! What exactly happens with this will to control? It is not that Homer’s Iliad is accepted as the Law – it is rather that whole humanity is captured in it as in an impenetrable cage from which there is no escape. Homer’s description of society is true – cannot be truer. You want to learn about human society – read Iliad. Don’t read textbooks. Don’t fool yourself. To participate or not – that is the question! (Lady)Macbeth and Hamlet – those are the true representative images of a poet participating in the society. Murder or not murder – the dilemma! Get into politics – bloody your hands… Drink the red milk, or be satisfied with the (sweet) scrape from the bottom of the pot.
Serbian version of this text was published in „Signal“ („Gradina“ nr. 10, Niš, 2005)
На Пројекту Растко објављено љубазношћу блога http://skerovicpoetry.blogspot.com/
На Растку објављено: 2007-10-04
Датум последње измене: 2007-10-03 22:35:10