the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog

For Teachers of Poetry

This is one of those quote-within-a-quote-within-a-quote things that happen in blogs.

Litlove, in a post for the Sunday Salon is writing about reading Rilke's Duino Elegies.

This post on its own is worth reading, as she captures vividly the ecstacy of reading Rilke (and I have lidocafe to thank that I am now in the company of those who share that ecstacy).

But I particularly loved this quote from the critic William Gass, writing about Rilke:

The poet, while composing, struggles to rule a nation of greedy self-serving malcontents; every idea, however tangential to the main theme it may have been initially, wants to submerge the central subject beneath its fructifying self as though each drizzle were scheming a forty-days rain; every jig and trot desires to be the whole dance; every la-di-da and line length, image, order, rhyme, variation and refrain, every well-mouthed vowel, dental click, silent design, represents a corporation, cartel, union, well-heeled lobby, a Pentagon or NRA, eager to turn the law towards its interests; every word wants to enjoy a potency so supreme it will emasculate the others.

That is why I read. That is why I teach.
Tags: blogging, criticism, poetry, reading

  • Save the Words

    The Oxford English Dictionary has created a rather delightful new site in an effort to get people to expand their vocabulary and keep more obscure…

  • Language is...

    Come courtesy of a student (bless 'im), here's this wonderful Fry and Laurie sketch about language. Stephen Fry nails the pretentious talking…

  • Baah! Writing Like Sheep

    Seen at So Many Books: A writing meme! List some of your favorite words: Lugubrious. Tintinnabulation. Crenelation. Serene. Hum. What’s your…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded