on being with eugene peterson (part 2): on poetry

part 1 of this series on eugene peterson's interview on on being.

at another point during the episode, krista quotes some writing of eugene and i love these two quotes:

“Poets tell us what our eyes, blurred with too much gawking, and our ears, dulled with too much chatter, miss around and within us. Poets use words to drag us into the depth of reality itself.”

“Poetry grabs us by the jugular. Far from being cosmetic language, it is intestinal.”

as i get more into poetry, i’m finding this to be more and more true. and it’s funny because that’s so different than what i grew up thinking. i’m gonna blame the u.s. public education system (embedded in a materialist, capitalist culture interested in production over feeling) for that. but good poetry does exactly what eugene says: without “flowery” language, it can cut right through to the heart of a matter and create a visceral sensation that wouldn’t taken tons and tons of words. so good.

which reminds me of another point he made…

“Well, it’s been important for me — I would think it would be important for anybody — to find a few poets that really strike home to you and then memorize them. You learn to listen to the dynamics of their language and recognize things that, if you’re just looking at the words…” [and he didn’t finish the statement but what i think he was gonna say was “recognize things that you wouldn’t have noticed before.”]

i definitely want to do this. maybe i’ll try to have three poets by the end of 2018? maybe that’s too soon? i know i dig natalie diaz. danez smith and jamaal may are both dope. maybe i should look into more of padraig’s stuff, too… and marilyn nelson.

words / writing / post-processing
280w / 10min / 6min