Thursday, March 16, 2006

Considering a Break

The blogosphere has turned blood-thirsty of late, and I find myself more and more exhausted by it. Initially, I thought the discussion of the Rachel Corrie controversy interesting and worthwhile, but I more and more I find myself reminded of the scene with the rake-wielding villagers at the end of Frankenstein. Perhaps this is just my own intellectual fatigue. But yesterday, when I hit "Enter" on a snotty reply at George's blog (which he has gracefully removed at my request), I realized that I am out of gas. The past week, I have tried to post things on theatre in general (Maxwell Anderson, Derek Walcott), but I find the environment right now unconducive to these kinds of posts, which are more reflective than impassioned. I click from blog to blog where in the past I found sustenance, and instead I find brawls and howls of outrage repeated ad infinitum. I am out of step, and too tired to present an alternative. It may be time for a break.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Derek Walcott on the Poet's Role

From Derek Walcott: Politics and Poetics:

"The poet is, by virtue of his role, set apart (most people are not poets), but the important fact is that he is given that role because he shares in that community: 'your duty is supplied by life around you. One guy plants bananas; another plants cocoa; I'm a writer, I plant lines.' As he wrote in 'Mass Man,' 'someone must write your poems.' The poet provides a service to his community, like the grower of food; his produce, poetry, can be seen as 'the bread that lasts.' Real lives are ephemeral, but art endures. It is the old wisdom, 'ars longa, vita brevis,' but given new impetus in the poet's responsibility to 'translate' a new, unrecorded society into art." (p 96)