[lit-ideas] Re: useless poetry

  • From: Torgeir Fjeld <torgeir_fjeld@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2011 19:06:31 +0100 (BST)

Thanks, David. As we engage socially the pain recedes- perhaps -- I believe in 
Ulven's poem the writing subject identifies with the coat and hat who/that 
"wants to rest on a hanger", as it is the poetic "i" that expresses those 
emotions. That is to say, it is not someone else/Other who are but empty coats, 
but the writer. Finally, though, the poem argues against such a resolution: 
your head on, it says. 

What Ulven does is to play with the word use -- life/thinking is useless /and/ 
being hat and no head (having no life or thought) is useless. Must our 
experiences be useful to be worthwile? Art is , to many , essentially useless 
--- it is of no use. That's why the poem is a metapoem: it revolves around the 
relative autonomy of culture and poetry's ability to make its own measures.


Here's a poem by swedish Hjalmar Söderberg:

To be loved,
if not, admired,
if not, feared,
if not, despised and detested.
To imprint on people some kind of emotion:
souls shake before the void
and want to be heard at any price.

Best regards,

 torgeir_fjeld@xxxxxxxx        // Ph: (+47) 47851394

-- Fred, frihet og gode offentlige tjenester --

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