Poetry of the highest quality almost never appears. When it does, we want to honor it with the deepest words from our startled minds. At such times, it’s so easy to slip into hyperbole. How to use language to speak about the finest language? To prevent adjectival deluge, the dictionary should be allowed to shrink, leaving three options, three markers: “mysterious,” “visionary,” “beautiful.”
Another way of speaking about the finest poems is to describe what they’re not. Having tried to write poems myself, I know the distance between an attempt at written art and the elusiveness of its realization. I know when I’ve encountered lines by another that are beyond the creative resources of my consciousness, lines exceeding whatever poetic talent I possess. Master poems are not ostensible poems.
Poetry of the highest quality is other than what you find when you look for poems to read these days…
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