Sunday, June 21, 2009

News that stays with you

A couple of things about the revolution in Iran that struck me are today:

Good summary of the current situation and the possibilities for the coming week by blogger Black Hat Journalist. I'll be following this blog.

And a new Wikipedia entry for Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman gunned down Saturday, June 20 in Tehran, allegedly by a Basij gunman. Lighting a candle tonight in her memory.

Women of Iran - "lioness" is a Farsi word that comes to mind when I see the images of protesting women and read about Zahra Rahnavard, Moussavi's wife, taking a leadership role.

Someone on my poetry listserv posed the question of the emotional content in poetry and its equation to "importance" of a poem, citing a craze for emotionalism with linebreaks that's become a trend among teenagers. While I like to think that anything is fair game to interest youth in our lovely art form, that kind of verbal emoting may so far debase any art form that it defeats the purpose. This has been an emotional week for me, watching singular events unfold in a country I haven't till now thought much about. The only poetry I have dared to work on is far, far from these themes.

I thought of Wordsworth's Preface to Lyrical Ballads, and this statement that connects poetry to our common humanity:

To this knowledge which all men carry about with them, and to these sympathies in which without any other discipline than that of our daily life we are fitted to take delight, the poet principally directs his attention.

And
at the same time, I thought of this, also from the Preface:

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.

Spontaneous, yes. Overflow, certainly. The wisdom is in recollecting it from tranquillity.