Thursday, 22 January 2009

Hidden for a while.

I'm going to not exist as myself for a while, or try to. Or at least stop trying to be myself. Be less than that. Rest a bit, I guess. So here's a piece of profound nonsense. I need another new poetry resource. I think I'll buy Rapture at the weekend, lest I publish EVERYTHING Jeanette Winterson thinks is good.

The Blue Guitar

The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

They said, 'You have a blue guitar,
You cannot play things as they are.'

The man replied, 'Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.'

And they said then, 'But play, you must
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,
A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are.'

Wallace Stevens

UPDATE: I just found that this is a tiny excerpt of a much longer poem! I'll have to read it sometime and see what the rest of it says...

I like the silliness of it, and the highlighting of the moment of realisation that people have when the way that they perceive the world is shown to be wrong or not the whole thing, and the excitement of finding a new way of seeing or hearing.


Coming back to this after an evening of thinking about it, it becomes apparent that my assessment of the poem is woefully incomplete. Which I would have picked up if I'd spent more time on my posting. Again. But it could be read in many more ways than the one I chose to focus on yesterday. The people could just as easily be demanding that the guitarist plays things as they are, not acknowledging that things are different on the blue guitar. There could be anguish in the poem from the fact that the musician cannot possibly do what the world demands of him. And there are more interpretations than that, too - it's impossible to pin down 'things exactly as they are' in the context of the poem. Perhaps that's the point.

Is it bad that I'm quite pleased to have learnt more html? I'm sure I'm losing street cred. At some point, you never know, I'll have a go at making this page look a little less generic, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

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