I’m going to pick on Tyler because in your last two posts you’ve mentioned two things that I find intriguing about modern poetry: 1. the universality that modern poetry tries to articulate even to future generations, and 2. the rush of the modern world; the looking towards the future and not living in the present day moment.
Isn’t it strange (or wonderful, or confusing, or all three) that poetry, and more specifically modern poetry, can both embody a piece of writing that speaks to future generations of readers while emphasizing the importance of living this very moment? If the human condition is one that is to be heralded as universal – we all are human beings, we all live, we will all die and hopefully join up with some greater “thing” in the end. If this idea makes us all the same, feeling the same things, made of the same atoms, breathing the same air and pooping out the same poop…Then it is also universal that we have this strange duality of feeling temporary and eternal, is it not?
Tyler, you said that the “sick hurry of life stems” from “worrying about the future” in a very individual sense, no? What car we’re going to be driving next year, how big our houses will be in five years, etc. etc. What I find crazy is when you think about the other side of this “sick hurry”, that by slowing down, by living in the moment, it…
wait for it…
makes us WANT to think about the future! By future, I mean the way in which Housman speaks to the future – the future of man, “For them to read when they’re in trouble/And I am not.” – so that the same mistakes, fated or not, aren’t repeated.
Is it then the responsibility of the poet to point out this strange relationship to both the now and the eternal? To attempt to say what I very clumsily tried to say in the paragraphs above in a meaningful, articulate, easy-to-understand yet completely bewildering way? Isn’t that why poetry is beautiful?
What do you think?