So, what Hirsch is getting at is that those who allow themselves to truly enter into the poetic expression find a resonance with a deeper reality. They find that something deep in their souls resonates with something being expressed through the soul of the other poet. Recently, a friend let me borrow a book that's captured me. It's tough reading (reminds me of being in school again), but worth it. This is the kind of book I get stuck on sometimes because I don't understand the words and sentences, and other times because it sends me into intense thinking. Anyway, it's called "The Poetics of Space: a classic look at how we experience intimate places" by Gaston Bachelard. In the introduction, he says this: "Poetry is not directly sprung from some causal relationship directly, but as a resonance or reverberation..." and "The poet does not confer the past of his image upon me, and yet his image immediately takes root in me..." and "...poetry, rather than being a phenomenology of the mind, is a phenomenology or the soul..." and finally, "In the resonance we hear the poem, in the reverberations, we speak it, it is our own." [italics mine]
When I read this, I began to think that when you or I see a piece or art, read a piece of poetry, or listen to a piece of music, there is or is not an immediate resonance or reverberation or sometimes dissonance that elicits something in us and calls us to cry forth, to create, to speak, to art, to sing.
And yet most of us have developed such strong capabilities (or, we might call them disabilities) of controlling, manipulating, containing, and suppressing those resonances, be they beautiful or ugly or both. But true poetry, good music, and lasting art comes from the gut, the splankna when our soul responds and resonates with goodness and evil, beauty and terror. The poet, musician, and artist allow (to go back to Hirsch) themselves to be carried away, to be transformed, to be in transfiguration.
That's why so few of us really love poetry or get art or listen to good music - because we have been trained since we were young to control our feelings, to manage our impulses, to deny or deepest tremblings, misgivings, leaps of joy, and subtle resonances with the deep strains of creation and our struggles with the pain of its groaning.
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