Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Sibylline voices flicker..."

Through the bound cable strands, the arching path   
Upward, veering with light, the flight of strings,—
Taut miles of shuttling moonlight syncopate   
The whispered rush, telepathy of wires.
Up the index of night, granite and steel—
Transparent meshes—fleckless the gleaming staves—
Sibylline voices flicker, waveringly stream   
As though a god were issue of the strings. . . .

From "The Bridge: Atlantis" by Hart Crane, 1930

"It is my hope to go through the combined materials of the poem, using our "real" world somewhat as a spring-board, and to give the poem as a whole an orbit or predetermined direction of its own. I would like to establish it as free from my own personality as from any chance evaluation on the reader’s part. (This is, of course, an impossibility, but it is a characteristic worth mentioning.) Such a poem is at least a stab at a truth, and to such an extent may be differentiated from other kinds of poetry and called "absolute." It evocation will not be toward decoration or amusement, but rather toward a state of consciousness, and "innocence" (Blake) or absolute beauty. In this condition there may be discoverable under new forms certain spiritual illuminations, shining with a morality essentialized from experience directly, and not from previous precepts or preconceptions. It is as though a poem gave the reader as he left it a singe, new word, never before spoken and impossible to actually enunciate, but self-evident as an active principle in the reader’s consciousness henceforward."

From Crane's "General Aims and Theories," 1925 (Text via The Museum of American Poetics)

Eight Bells Folly: Memorial to Hart Crane, Marsden Hartley, 1933

1 comment:

monica said...

lovely...always heart lifting your beautiful words shared...