Thursday, November 1, 2012

A poem like and unlike a prayer

What, then, is the difference between a poem and a prayer? It depends on what is meant by prayer. There is prayer and prayer (pace Gertrude Stein). If it’s the sort of prayer that is a kind of plea bargain and assumes an auditor who is capable of answering the prayer, or the pleader wants something material to ensue as a result, then it is nothing like a poem. But insofar as the poet must relinquish a certain kind of control, and attain a kind of self-forgetfulness; must, as the ancients had it, call in the Goddess, the Muse, the power of the imagination - that which must be invited and cannot be commanded - in that sense, in which prayer involves a humbling and earnest entreaty for vision, and creative deepening of perception toward a kind of ease of being, then ok, the difference begins to fade.

- Eleanor Wilner

2 comments:

  1. We are at the mercy of our muses. They do not serve us. We serve them as conduits.I would not refer to this as prayer but incantation. Writers spell for a living. The magic is the cyclical nature of the process. A symbol becomes a letter with a sound. That becomes a word with a meaning. That meaning is then expressed in many words called sentences. Those sentences create a motif. That motif has an idea often expressed in an image. That image becomes iconoclastic a symbol of the text. This is the life cycle of a metaphor. The brood of muses.

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  2. I do not think that should be sought difference because what is material for a prayer or a poem? Any writing poetry is unreachable search and thrill the soul. Here's a proof.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_UtlTqfFpo&feature=related

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