Saturday, July 09, 2005

Going to the School of Prophecy

It seems like every blog I read, someone is talking about some school of poetry, whether it’s some new school of sincerity or an older vicious one. Of course there’s Quietude and the recently discovered Novelty. There’s the New York School and maybe even the Duluth School for all I know. So, today, I begin a new one. The School of Prophecy.

It’s an open school. Anyone is welcome. It’s neither traditional nor avant-garde; classical, modern nor post-modern; metrical nor free; although it can be all, and I suppose neither at all. It is also little concerned with revision. If not ‘first word best word’, then it is close to ‘first word or two, best or near-best words’.

But it is concerned with prophecy. That does not mean fortune-telling. But it does mean attention to the present, or an awareness of the subconscious moment. For that sensitivity to the intuitive is the real genius that can be called divination. We know much more than we think we know…, I think.

6 comments:

Dr J said...

How things change, and how things remain the same (so Ecclesiastically): your post reminds me of Sidney reminding his readers of the vatic dimensions of poetry, and the (potentially-problematic) menage-a-trois of vision, poetry, and capital-T Truth.

Hmmm, what's that bit about seeing (and really one should probably add "hearing") through a glass, darkly? I imagine Emily D. would have some incisive remarks on this.... They'd certainly be better ones than I can provide.

Greg said...

I'm uncomfortable with the T word. Although I understand I'm hinting at it here. And Emily does advise us to tell it all but tell it slant. As for seeing through a glass darkly, well Paul certainly wanted us to believe that. The Church can only see it any other way. Still I'm not arguing that we can know it all. Some capital T truth. Just that we know more than we think we do. Intuition. The basis for profound revelations. That light bulb effect. We just don't listen, or see, in the light of day. So in that way, I accept Paul's understanding. But we can try to cleanse that glass and see through it translucently.

Dr J said...

Glass, or-- as Elizabeth Bishop reminds me-- isinglass? For some reason, I've always thought that an image of genius.

I, too, am uncomfortable with the T word, but the whole point of an idea of prophecy is the broaching of a yet unrevealed truth (at least to the person "perceiving" it). As for trying to cleanse that glass (isin- or not) and attempting to see through it translucently: we agree, even if sometimes the task is somewhere between being Sisyphian and Diogenous. That's not an excuse to abdicate the task, but merely an awareness of what the task may sometimes, and usually does, involve, at least for me.

A pleasure, as always, Greg. Yours remains one of the few blogs of which I know very much worth reading. Cheers.

Mark said...

I wish I'd have had the time this week to write something in regard to the notions that you put forth above Greg.

I'm very interested in the idea of poetry as a kind of "other" speech, very much in keeping with glossollalia and prophecy. The classical image of the sybilian (sp.?) oracle receiving speech from the gods in the form of gibberish which was then translated into comprehensible prophecy (in iambs, I think) by the temple priest. Our contemporary SoQ/P-A dialectics in some respects deal with whether or not we need or do not need said interpreting priest.

I don't have an answer for that.

In regard to poetry literally, as prophecy, I wrote a poem in the fall of 2000 called "Above Ground Zero," also that fall I wrote a poem with the line "Who ever sees the shadow of a plane from the ground?" In it. It still gives me the chills to think about that poem and that line!...

Greg said...

Mark,
that's an interesting observation about contemporary SoQ/P-A dialectics being somewhat about that interpreting priest. i like that. your comments on your poems and lines are also facinating (love to read them). bob dylan is such a prophetic songwriter. his 'love and theft' came out on 9/11/2001 and i swear it's a prophetic work:
Judge says to the High Sheriff,
"I want him dead or alive
Either one, I don't care."
almost quotes W verbatim.

Renee Wagemans said...

These prophesy poems are really neat and beautiful poems. Nice work.
I think to be a real prophet you have to listen with your inner ears to Gods holy spirit, and to learn not to mix what you hear with too much of your own. And that is not so easy for we all like to hear ourselves don’t we?

Abba


No
Selah
dogma, I
do go to God
to lay as I was drawn to new era.
Dewed, are we not? ‘N ward saw, I say a
lot; do go to
God. I am.
God, hale,
Son.