So often, when I speak about the sun, an enormous red rose
entangles itself in my tongue. But I do not have the capacity
to remain silent.
--Odysseus Elitis (my translation)
Poets are accused of always writing about two subjects: love and death.
This is true. But we also write all the time about light and dark. These dualities
are not quite the same, but they operate like two monsters guarding the temple of Poetry.
All poets must first make peace with them before we can truly turn our attention to all the
other aspects of this demanding art
I'd like to focus here on a few poets who have found a way to get past sunlight and live to make good poetry from the experience.
British poet U.A. Fanthorpe offers her “translation” of the Christian story of creation, from the
Old English poem “Caedmon's Song.” I'll give you the first 4 stanzas of 12. The poem is in her book
Queueing For The Sun.
Nepal poet Durga Lal Shrestha at age 64 paid his respect to light by way of his poetry
collection The Blossoms of Sixty-Four Sunsets (translated by David Hargreaves). Each
two-stanza poem is part of a large dialogue between poet and sun. Here is poem #62:
Finally, Vincent van Gogh, whose letters to his brother were saturated with
color and light:
So there is every moment something that moves one intensely.
A link to my new book: Original Flamboyance