So, back to Eminem. Eminem's story is the story of someone who, when he heard the poets of inner city Detroit (and New York and LA), felt something inside him suddenly stirred. Instead of doing what we so often do - denying that stirring, or blaming it on stomach churning from the stir-fry - he chose to allow himself to be captivated... or as Hirsch would say, he welcomed the transport that - in this case - the inner city poets provided. That, of course, is the first step - to admit and allow the resonance, and to allow oneself to be carried away by it. But not only did he allow himself to feel the resonance and the reverberation, he also moved onto the second step: he becomes (again in Hirsch's words) one of those "who honor the reality of roots and wings in words, but also want the wings to take root, to grow into the earth, and the roots to take flight, to ascend. They need such falling and rising, such metaphoric thinking." He begins to live by those experiences, partially because the art (in this case the poetics of rap) becomes an experience in which he comes alive. Why? Because he in that transformational experience of entering into the resonance and allowing his soul to sing, he begins to uncover and truly feel his real self beneath all the masks, coping mechanisms, and denials. And then he doesn't stop there either. He moves to what I think is a third stage. Again, in Hirsch's characterization, he would be one who is "so taking by the ecstatic experience - the overwhelming intensity" of hearing reality in rhythm and rhyme that he almost needs to "respond in kind." And he becomes a poet. He begins to speak from a deep reality in his own life, experience, and emotions that it's truly something unique, powerful, and even moving.
I'll be back with an example in the next post. Thanks for reading, and bearing with me.
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