Tuesday, 8 June 2010

What are Poets For?

"What are Poets for?"...

Writing poetry, starts in my soul, flows through my heart, up to my head, then its out of my hands.

Sometimes we create from a place that knows not where, when, or why, and the meaning is a revelation over time. Sometimes it is revealed through the observer, at other times the hidden meanings of a poem ferment inside the soul, and only become clear within a context that has yet to be defined.

I catch myself creating pieces and poems that have little bearing on my mind set at the time, and then find them transforming in the minds of those that read them, indeed my own mind when I re-read my own work, in a way that simply would not have happened had i sought to imprint my own limited conscious idea's upon them, without allowing the well spring of the subconscious to foment into the works, often imbuing them with a depth and layered meaning, absent in more cerebral and calculated work.

Of course that's not always the case. As artists it is important to be open to a reasoned work of art, as much as it is an intuitive one, both have their place. I certainly like to allow for the possibility of multiple avenues of inspiration, be they emotive, cerebral, energetic, social, or any other avenue, in any one work. Often there is a large cross over, so that at first glance a work might seem to be speaking on one level about a social event, love, or some particular circumstance, and at the same time, on quite another level, speak to the unity of soul, or the union of the heart, and then, at an altogether different level, it might echo sentiments of a more universal wisdom, that seeks to transcend the mundane understandings of the current mindset, and push the reader beyond those barriers. For it has ever been the case that the transcendent is the ultimate province of the 'Poet' and 'Artist' alike.

For as much as the artist uses their implements to create this moment of transcendence, an artist can be used as an implement also, a medium of sorts, and it is the greater sensitivity of the artist, that allows for the transcendent moment to occur, so long as the artist allows the intuitive to flow freely from the well spring of the unconscious.

Transcendent art then, cannot just come from the confines of an already understood knowledge base. For by its very nature, it extends beyond that which we know, at least cognitively. Great artists then, and great artworks, have the capacity, to not just redefine that which is around them, but push beyond the envelop of that which is knowable. Feelings, and empathetic genius, allow for that moment to occur, free from the strictures of a reasonable creation. This empathetic and creative genius is available to all who would allow for its flow, and defies the reasonable and orderly, in favour of the unconscious and intuitive.

Now it must be the case that in bringing this flow to the fore, within a technical and real sense, a measure of balance and order must be employed by the artist, but not at the expense of the flow. For when the intellect interferes with the intuitive, the imaginative is often sacrificed. In short, on occasion, it is not only good to say 'I did it because I felt like it', it is necessary. For transcendent art is outrageous. In order to transcend the mundane and formally known, Love what you do, fear not, and 'Be Outrageous'!

Poetry is always a relationship. More often than not a relationship forged between relative strangers, who for a brief time inhabit a common ground, created systemically through the interaction of both, by way of the work itself. As a poet I am aware of this, and therefore allow many of my creations to come authentically from a place that allows for the possibility of the transcendent nature of this relationship to blossom. If allowing is indeed the right word, for it is the case that this relationship occurs whether we allow it or not. However, these connections between seemingly disparate psyches, moments of consciousness in both time and place, often meaningfully associate in a synchronistic manner. Forging, a transcendent synergy, that could not have occurred through either of the participants alone. These are the connections that germinate the seeds of transcendence within the artistic relationship.

Once a work has been set down, it becomes the tangible medium of this exchange, and therefore a context of sorts in which both poet and reader dwell for a time, sharing the contents of their own psyches, as they exist for each, within the stream of consciousness.

I am always aware that as the initiator of this process and relationship, it behooves me to be both sincere to the personal vision i wish to convey, or the intuitive evocation that flows through me, but humble enough in the process, to leave latitude enough for the interpretive possibility within the reader, as we discover the deeper meaning of the poem together. Poet, often in an absent passive capacity, aside from the work itself, the reader, in a more active present, filtering the work through their own psyche as it exists at that moment.

As poet, I try to build into, and between the words, or at least allow for, multiple avenues and streams of meaning, both temporally and personally, so that not only each word has multiple possibility, and a point of reference for the reader, but also combinations of words, phrases and images have a fluidity that allows the perceiver to gain something from the poem no matter where there consciousness happens to be at the time.

Along side the actual text, being present in the spaces, the silences between the words, can be as important as being there for the words themselves, and it is often in the silences, and spaces that the intuitive flows most freely. Of course in more intuitive works, this happens completely naturally, and the multidimensional quality of the poems, is a discovery over time for both reader and poet alike, both within the text, and between it.

I read poetry in the same manner, knowing that I will likely never inhabit this moment a second time, even though I may retain a continuity of consciousness, a craft of sorts, that flows upon this endless sea, and retains, in this truth, a stream of awareness that I bring to the poem as reader. This creates a peculiarly unique experience, one that allows for the possibility of the transcendent to occur.

Synergistic art functions in exactly the same manner. When two or more artists allow their work to come together, they do in fact create a new art-form, that neither would have imagined possible had they remained isolated by their own intuitions and visions. This, 'Transcendence', through synergy, allows for the art itself to take on a multidimensional quality which transcends its own former borders.

It is always a kind of trust, a trust in the process of which we are all a part, and through which we mutually discover new horizons. To do this synergistically, is to allow for the possibility of interpersonal transcendence, far removed from the confines of any personally stultifying intellectualism. The artwork becomes greater than the sum of its parts, when in the mind of the perceiver, it is allowed to resonate within the silences and spaces, and connect with the readers, or viewers, own peculiar personal circumstance, history, or projected self. It becomes 'Transcendent', as it lifts the mind and soul into a place hitherto unknown.

I may not always succeed in the process, and combinatorial artistic endeavors may not always reach a preconceived mark, if indeed they must, but to answer the question "What are poets for?"...For me, if indeed they need be for anything, and i am not entirely sure they do, as art is its own reward, they are mediums of transcendent change, and the poem is a stream that carries the reader from multiple directions into the timeless sea of eternal possibility, from where all things become possible that were once improbable.

© Richard Michael Parker 2009

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