Sunday, December 17, 2006

3 a.m. reading

So after reading Stephen King's Desperation last night I had to read something nice, dense, and thought-provoking. It isn't that this King novel isn't thought-provoking, but the thoughts it provokes are ones I didn't want to follow me to bed -- the old good/evil dichotomy having its way with my mind. So ... I tried Heidegger's Poetry, Language, Thought ... too dense. This book has great discussions of German poet, Rilke though so if you're Rilke-obsessed (and I find no one just likes Rilke ... they love Rilke), then check out this Heidegger masterpiece. And on the Rilke note, read Rilke's wisdom in one collection called, The Poet's Guide to Life. But I digress ...

I looked in my "what to read in the night" reading log I keep and came across a quotation from Jean Cocteau: Poetry is a religion with no hope. This was a captivating observation however bleak and true it can be at times. I then decided to journal about this ...

Not a day goes by ... not one that I can think of at all ... that poetry is not with me. It is like a shadow, a complex friend. If I am not reading it, I am writing it or revising it. It is akin to religion, and in its resemblance to religion ... I am constantly mystified and often either joyous or saddened about what I find or cannot find there. But unlike religion, there really is no hope. A poem is static and in its inherent stasis one may find it increasingly hopeless. Or perhaps full of hope. I tend to lean toward the former knowing that as much as I love poetry and need it in my daily life, it keeps me often from working on my own baggage, my own inner chaos ... the evident and irritating contradiction that I hate that I too often am.

Cocteau's love poems in particular are painfully hopeless. But love, like poetry, like hope, is always something I am grasping for ... I think everyone is.

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