Thursday, December 08, 2005

Poetry & Mortality

Recently I discovered an richly rewarding poetry journal online that I wanted to share here. In a day or two when I have more time I must add it to my sidebar links. The Journal Kritya is edited by Dr Rati Saxena a Hindi poet, translator and Sanskrit scholar.

I especially found an interview with poet laureate Billy Collins that was in the most recent issue fascinating reading. In response to a question posed by the interviewer Collins hit upon something that I found a great deal of identity with. I have often talked of the connection between mortality and poetry and the following discourse by Collins I felt was putting the subject in profoundly simple but beautiful terms.

"The underlying theme of Western poetry is mortality. The theme of carpe diem asks us to seize the day because we have only a limited number of them. To see life through the lens of death is to approach the condition of gratitude for the gift (or simply the fact) of our existence. And as Wallace Stevens said, Death is the mother of beauty. Only the perishable can be beautiful, which is why we are unmoved by artificial flowers." ~ Billy Collins in an interview by the Iranian poet and translator Farideh Hassanzadeh [source]
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