Part of the concern in re-reading a text often is that in so doing you read less and recognise more. You glide over familiar words. Or, to be more particular, you glide over familiar presumptions, and so, with time, you aren’t reading what’s there, you’re reading what you think is there. — Pádraig Ó Tuama
Is it me but the more I read what’s said online, the less resonance and meaning I find in the words?
They’ve no juice as Bukowski would have said.
Two towering exceptions.
Is it born from a lack of inventiveness, a lack of scholarly interest or being awash in the cultural stream of mellifluous prose?
I understand the need to use certain words in context and not to make the writing too clever but I wonder what we’ve lost in not paying greater attention to the language?
Poetry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but that’s only because we’ve been put off by some miserable childhood experience.
In my case, I never read poetry at school or in my early years.
But, over the second half of my life, I’ve made up for lost time and now have a reasonable collection of books that I return to over and over again. A few of my favourite poets (apart from Bukowski) include:
- Mary Oliver
- Anne Sexton
- Robert Bly
- Alden Nowlan
- Sylvia Plath
- Paul Celan
- James Lasdun
- Kae Tempest
- Philip Larkin
- Antonio Machado.
And then there are the books we read.
Only a few have knocked me off my oh-so-certain perch.
And that’s a good thing, surely? We’d be all over the place if we had to live with all that metaphysical disturbance.
And music. I don’t listen to much these days but I’m attracted to minimalistic works if only because I find myself lost in the reverie forever exploring the outer reaches of my dream-infused self.
Finally, and something we rarely ever explore in our speech or writing is wonder and mystery.
The web has seen to that.
We know so much but have learnt so little, particularly as regards those subjects that don’t evince of an easy and/or glib answer.
What if we wrote from a place of not-knowing?
I think of this as the question that can’t be answered and those aren’t the sort of places in our prose, exegesis of the world, work or relationships that we want to inhabit.
In short, certainty has killed creativity.
The above is no more than an itinerant meander around the edges of the subject at hand. I’d love to know what you think. Do you agree that we’re in thrall to too much blah, blah, blah and there’s very little that weighs us down, let alone fills us with wonder and amazement?
Take care and thank you for reading this post.