Sunday, December 8, 2013

the impossible poet

There are not very many poets, dead or alive. I will sometimes say: "I write poems." I should change that to: "I write pseudo-poems."

The aesthetic, literary quality of Adam Zagajewski's poems are way far beyond most other poems being written. He has an impossible consciousness, therefore his poems are highly implausible written events. Yet they exist, woven somehow from our shared human language. Actual poems. This is a paradox worth being astounded by.

When this impossible poet sits down to write, what happens is not merely a matter of inscribing a profound emotion, impression, or supposition as lines and stanzas. Something else and more peculiar is going on. Something uncanny and mind blowing results.

I'm going to ponder this some more. I might add more sentences to this post later on. When and if I figure out how to describe the nature -- the impossible aesthetic -- of actually existing Zagajewski poems.

Okay. It's hours later now, and I've pondered this thing. How is it that Zagajewski's consciousness is impossible and his poems implausible?

Because both have to do with a preternatural calm and a spiritual wizardry. One must be impossibly still to see into depths of things, must be partly magic to translate those depths into words.

The metaphysical substance within beings and objects, filtered through his consciousness and revealed in his poems, becomes as palpable as those beings and objects are in their everyday, physical manifestations. Symbolists were sensitive to the "other world." Without being flamboyant, Zagajewski's poems are attuned to that stratum of dreaming beneath or beyond phenomena, and sympathetic to the timbre of old bells.

His metaphors are uncommonly, unnaturally real, as if they flowed directly to the page from a mystical immanence. No artifice, no invention. That kind of thing almost never happens. It's about having a concentrated perspective on the world, to the extent of almost x-ray vision. His poems are hyper-coherent as a result. Solipsistic mish-mash doesn't stand a chance of happening in them. Instead, there's an assured, generous breathing into aesthetic form of experience, memory, and imagination. The words have a certain forlorn heft, the lines a certain musical texture.

This stuff is impossible and implausible because it's true.

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