Thursday, 12 January 2012

A footnote apropos poetry

From the 1999 Cirque Du Soleil show "Dralion" (Victor Kee)

Because this too is poetry. It's the circus and it's dance and it is most certainly juggling. If poetry comes not as naturally as leaves to a tree, you might say (and Keats too), then it is mere show, but the leaves come if you dance, and as my friend Peter Scupham wrote a long time ago, it is string not magic, but what if the string is magic too?

Often the most beautiful lyric poems are the simplest in appearance, the plain-spoken poetry of what happens, and I, like others, find it beautiful. But then this too happens in the theatre of the imagination and it is right that it should sometimes so happen that a movement so strenuous, so exhausting, so stylised, develops into a grace that is not just style but energy transformed.

And while we're at it there is this too:

Yes, I've shown it before, it is the great Jean Vigo's Zéro de Conduite

Sometimes - and I feel this in myself - we have as much decency and moderation as we can bear. There must be a place in heaven where Piero della Francesca, Johannes Vermeer, Pablo Picasso and Peter Paul Rubens get together for a drink and a cafe in another district of the same where George Herbert buys John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, a coffee and T S Eliot buys John Milton and Emily Dickinson a cake.

Some circus, some chaos, chaos-as-ballet if you like, is always present in great art. We could try going there.


Gwil W said...

In bardic heaven I shall sit in the sepia corner of smoky ambience with Joyce and Thomas - play dominoes perhaps.

George S said...

I assume that's Dylan rather than Edward?

Gwil W said...

Dylan definitely Dylan. Did you know US President Jimmy Carter once wrote a poem in praise of Dylan Thomas? We'll make a fine corner.