Monday, December 10, 2007

Finding duende

I've been reading some material from several sources on the subject of duende. I find myself transfixed the concept of this sort of anti-muse. It's amusing that so much time and energy is focused on us finding the inspiration of our muse and yet there is beneath the surface this vast iceberg of subconsciousness that we as poets so often abnegate.

I've spoken here in the past about how so often the really striking poetry rises out of conflict. This is something Donald Hall has written about in essay. In Edward Hirsch's the demon and the angel - Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration he talks about the emergence of the duende philosophy I believe first introduced by the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca in a 1930 lecture. There are a variety of other poets and philosophers who speak of this same mysterious force deep within human nature. I am finding the shared view of numerous poets on this subject to be a significant part of my learning curve as it relates to poetics.

In both my own writing and in the works of other poets that I especially enjoy reading, I like to see and feel dissonance. That contrasting conflict that arises when we write from inspiration on one hand, and allow ourselves the uncensored deep rooted mysterious part of our self to come out and play in our work. It is when these two forces - internal and external are present that I believe the best writing often occurs.

Enough on this subject tonight... but I will take it up again tomorrow.

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