On Poetry


I have not always been a fan of poetry. Very recently, I learned that this was due to a lack on my side. What I was lacking was not so much a capacity or ability - instead, I had not found any sort of personal approach to poetry yet. And if the sort of poetry I like - even the most abstract of poetry that pleases me - is anything, it is personal.

The narrative is my domain. In reading and in writing - and, with increasing rather than declining intensity as I grow older, in so-called reality - I lose myself in the prosaic and epic like in a riddle, the solution of which continually withdraws from my grip the more I appear to approach it. Poetry on the other hand - or so I thought - is either a lot more direct and unmediated, and thus less enthralling; or a lot more vague and obscure, and thus either made purposefully inaccessible to the audience (an artistic oxymoron) or not actually tangible for the originators themselves. I had no idea what to do with this kind of writing.

Now, I have found an unexpected interest in poetry because it seems to be both: More direct than prose and more derivative than prose; less mediated than prose and more encrypted than prose; less dependent on symbols and metaphors than prose - and inherently more symbolic and metaphorical than prose. Poetry allows the lyricist to reveal the most private matters without revealing them. Poetry condenses matters ("Dichtung" "verdichtet"); a skilful poet will find a way to condense matters so that the poem's very specific statement comes out the other end in a new shape, one that no longer requires the specific in order to be understood, interpreted, and felt. Poetry is transformation. Literally, almost.

Where's the fun in being rested?
Wicked go the gods to waste.

I lick the life from chests and wonder

who'll provide the final taste.

More poetry of mine, as well as more theoretical examination of poetry's function and magic, can be found on my Instagram-account - accompanied by pictures that have inspired the poems or illustrate them (or both).