Tag Archives: poetry

The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty. He is a sovereign, and stands on the centre. For the world is not painted, or adorned, but is from the beginning beautiful; and God has not made some beautiful things, but Beauty is the creator of the universe. Therefore the poet is not any permissive potentate, but is emperor in his own right. Criticism is infested with a cant of materialism, which assumes that manual skill and activity is the first merit of all men, and disparages such as say and do not, overlooking the fact, that some men, namely, poets, are natural sayers, sent into the world to the end of expression, and confounds them with those whose province is action, but who quit it to imitate the sayers. The poet does not wait for the hero or the sage, but, as they act and think primarily, so he writes primarily what will and must be spoken, reckoning the others, though primaries also, yet, in respect to him, secondaries and servants; as sitters or models in the studio of a painter, or as assistants who bring building materials to an architect.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays, Second Series

“I use dreams, the subconscious, and the real objects, and I open up the body and use organs, and I sink them into words, and I ritualize them and fuse them into events. I guess poetry is like a festival. Everything can be transformed. The street becomes something else, the subways is something else, everything at a festival is disguised as something else. Everything changes: the look of a person changes, their intentions change, the attitudes are different, experiences are fiercer. Voices become other voices. So that’s what I do now in my poetry. I keep making connections. I try not to wade in the shallow water of shallowness and I try not to get stuck in the mud of art council standards and the spectators’ demand for messages. It’s called multiplication, division, and subtraction.”
– Jayne Cortez