After reading the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore

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Yes. We spend too much of our short lives

Chasing the mot juste, the phrase, the image,

That will reconcile all, bring all to mind.

To ease the pain and to make amends.

But there is no end to the way of art

We must learn to wonder as we search

For the right word to express. What?

That fleeting sense of something

Far more deeply interfused

That has its home in the setting sun

In majestic music and in the mind of man.

Words have many uses, tell many scorching

Lies, create many and varied identities

Depending on the soul of the language.

Is it mellifluous like Italian or French?

Or gruff and haughty like German or Russian? 

Les fleurs du mal reposent sur nos esprits

Comme un brouillard humide et toxique.

Or, maybe, it is just our barbarian worship

Of the self that erodes the sanctity of the word.

We neglect our language at our peril

Our identity is created and expressed iin words,

Language is the explicit and implicit

Foundation of our culture, our way of life.

We have a  new and dangerous breed of censors

Who have weaponised mediocrity,

Made lack of offence a stinking virtue,

Telling us what we can and cannot say or write or think

But for poets, sentence by bloody sentence,

Word by bleeding word the unknown

Is brought to measure, as we see

Into the heart of things....

◄ Blue

A loving heart is truest wisdom ►


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John Marks

Fri 15th Nov 2019 22:31

Tagore received the Nobel prize for literature and is read all across the world by many millions in many languages. Same for Eliot, Yeats, Baudelaire, Goethe, Plath, Healey et al. None of them wrote simple straightforward poetry but they did write poetry. Modern dumbed down culture demands instant gratification, immediate understanding of what? The blindingly obvious. TS Eliot, that marvellously complex Anglo-Anerican defender of difficulty wrote that: "Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves." That, for me, is a goal worth striving for.

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Fri 15th Nov 2019 15:42

I think you exemplify the spirit of discovery both external and internal John. Of course I am in agreement but I would say that wouldn't I, considering my vocal involvement on earlier occasions. Brian has a point , but sadly a wider audience is already well served. while some attempt at least could be made to empathize with the deeper layers of meaning in the lives we live.
I like your phrase weaponize mediocrity, like a suit of armour perhaps.


<Deleted User> (18980)

Thu 14th Nov 2019 21:57

...though to reach a wide audience it is often necessary to keep the language and the message relatively straightforward. Complex pieces can leave many behind and end up appealing only to a tiny elite. This doesn't mean that pieces have to be dumbed down...that is entirely different.

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