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Terreson Profile
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Baudelaire


For all my career a working premise has been this: as a poet I am both responsible to and for all the poets who've come before. Since starting out I have been far more familiar with past poets than with my contemporaries. The ancient Greeks, Old English poetry, Medieval poetry, the Renaissance, 19th C. poetry, and early 20th C poetry. Some poets I only take notice of. I know who both Pope and Dryden were without much bothering with them. They don't do anything for me. Same is true of Robert Browning and Algernon Swinburne. I don't agree with Eliot on much, just a few things. I emphaticly agree with him on one point:

No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him for contrast and comparison, among the dead. I mean this as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical criticism. The necessity that he shall conform, that he shall cohere, is not onesided; what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it.

To me this is axiomatic. It is as essential and true as a mathematical equation correctly describing a physical process, such as the law of relativity mathematically expressed. But for the case of both Formalists and Classicists in poetry, both cases agenda driven and narrowly so, my position has been the exception to the rule, among poets, all my career. And I came to it long before I read Eliot's Tradition and the Individual Talent essay. The contemporary scene, by and large, eschews the past, to an even hyperactive extent among those who want a complete break with the past, the same as who are most likely to repeat the past out of ignorance. But there is a dynamic between the individual poet and the tradition of poetry. It's the dynamic that keeps poetic expression, viewed as a tradition, vital.

Charles Baudelaire is considered the first Modern poet. He who mostly worked in traditional forms. The first to face the moral dilemma of the Modern Age. First to premise himself on that there is no heaven or hell, that both are centered on this plane, in the real. The first to take on the city, the dirty, filthy, overpopulated city as the new center of the human universe. I can go with all of the above. I can also walk into a room of recognized, established, published poets, talk the Baudelarian stuff and suddenly find myself in the room marked Poetry 101. How can you know what poetry is after if you don't know the path(s) it took to get this far? That is my conviction. Something else too. How can you stand on the shoulders of giants if you first haven't at least tried to identify them?

Here is a pretty good essay on Baudelaire, gives a sense of what he was after. It might be enough of an aid to give reason to check him out.

http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/French/VoyageToModernitypage.htm

Tere
Sep/6/2011, 7:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
culdesac101 Profile
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Re: Baudelaire


Thanks Tere.
Sep/7/2011, 9:05 am Link to this post Send Email to culdesac101   Send PM to culdesac101
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Baudelaire


Hi Tere and Arka,

Thought you guys might want to peruse an earlier thread Tere started on Baudelaire:

http://bdelectablemnts.runboard.com/t1377

Like Rimbaud, it seems he's been in the air and on people's minds. emoticon There must be a reason for this, no?
Sep/11/2011, 8:38 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Baudelaire


Thanks, Kat. Probably I should have kept to the already established thread. Anyway, I can't think of Rimbaud without thinking of Baudelaire.

Tere
Sep/11/2011, 12:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
culdesac101 Profile
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Re: Baudelaire


thanks Kat! lotsa stuff on that thread. plus some translations too. will chk them out soonish emoticon

arka
Sep/12/2011, 11:10 am Link to this post Send Email to culdesac101   Send PM to culdesac101
 


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