Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thoughts | The Sublime

The Sublime - and Other Dimensions – in Poetry

SUBLIME – The sublime rises from the nobleness of thoughts, the magnificence of the words, or the harmonious and lively turn of the phrase; the perfect sublime arises from all three together.
Wm. Addis (probably 1604-1662)

As a poet, I cannot claim to ever have written in an exalted, grand or lofty style. That is not my intention as a lyric poet. I can, however, deliver a “lively turn of the phrase.”
In fact, I have rarely read a poem that I considered to be sublime – except for a very few , and those that come immediately to mind are: Poetry by Pablo Neruda, Dickinson’s I Died for Beauty, Ted Hugh’s translation of Ovid’s Venus and Adonis, and his translation of Racine’s Phèdre.
What I aspire to as a poet, is not the sublime in my art, but the duende, as named by Lorca, and described by him as a creative force or protean spirit, such as that of flamenco singers, in all
arts. It is said that the magical quality of a poem consists in its always being possessed by the duende, “a thunderbolt beautiful and terrible …so that whoever beholds it is baptized with dark water.”

Irene Mitchell