sábado, 25 de mayo de 2013

Absence, Poetry, and Hindsight

(From Mark Freeman's Hindsight: The Promise and Peril of Looking Backward):

But it could also be that absence is not complete and that the world of ordinary experience bears within its absence a certain presence, a limited presence, which the poet, in turn, must try to bring to light. The poet Seamus Heaney has spoken of the "redressing" effect of poetry in this context, which "comes from its being a glimpsed alternative, a revelation of potential that is denied or constantly threatened by circumstances" (1995, p. 4). I also spoke earlier of the idea of "recuperative disclosure," the notion being that poetry, like hindsight, seeks to explicate what is there, in the world, and thereby rescue it from the forgetful oblivion that so often characterizes our relatedness to things. In a sense, you could say that poetry deals with what's not there and there at the same time. From one angle, it's about what is absent in presence; it's about what's often missing from our ordinary experience of things by virtue of its being "denied" or "threatened by circumstances." From another angle, it's about what's present in absence, the existence of a certain potential, "waiting" to be disclosed. Along the lines being drawn here, there is nothing intrinsically defensive or illusory at all about poems. On the contrary: they may very well serve as vehicles of disclosure and revelation, not so much "giving" meaning to experience as allowing it to emerge.


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