I’ve been reading with immense pleasure a translation of the great French poet Guillevic’s Art Poétique (scroll down for the publisher’s description), brought over into crisp English by Maureen Smith. As the cover description says, this book “is a highly personal account of the process and experience of writing poetry,” which makes it sound like a dry business. It isn’t. Guillevic’s poems amount to a subtle and varied meditation on the nature of poetry and the nature of the poet. He is sometimes tentative, sometimes assertive, and never doctrinaire. For Guillevic poetry has nothing to do with schools, theories, trends, prescriptions or proscriptions; it is a revelatory imaginative activity that illuminates both self and world. Rather than review the book, I plan to just quote a poem now and then in the days to come. From Guillevic to Smith to Black Widow Press to me to you: a gift….
Has its portion of shadow,
But the poem
Is turned toward the open
And beneath the shadow it occupies
A sun pierces through and shines.
A sun that rules.