June 30, 2014

Against Our Vanishing

Poetry is a principle of power invoked by all of us against our vanishing. The making of poems is a practice – a work human beings can do – in which civilization has invested some part of its love of itself and the world. The poem is a trace of the will of all persons to be known and to make known and, therefore, to be at all. Insofar as love wills the existence of what it loves, the principle of poetry is a collective and perpetually renewed act of love that brings the world to mind, and mind to mind, as the speech of a person – at the moment of the vanishing of world and persons, which is every moment of conscious life. Poetry is one means by which human beings engage, as they can, in the maintenance of a human world in which they can meet one another, affirm one another, remember, see, and foresee one another.

—Allen Grossman, Summa Lyrica

allen grossman poetry quote

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