This was my feeling today.
When spiritual experience compels a poet to write, her task is to sculpt a finite, discrete, material artefact out of a sprawling, unbounded, non-material object. The goal in producing such work is not to provide the reader with a replica of the inner experience, nor to make an absolute statement of truth. This is neither possible nor desirable. However rich her words and phrasing, they cannot hope to compare with the mystical dimensionality of the inwardly felt sensation, emotion, texture, movement, relationship; and to pretend that they might is intellectually and spiritually dishonest.
Rather, the goal of writing is to lovingly craft a signpost to the ineffable. To invite the reader to soften into feeling states far beyond the holding capacity of language. To extend safe passage to a personal experience of the Sublime.
Poetry – or let’s say, Art – serves as a humble key which, at the right moment, might grant access to an expansive, unspeakable room. A tiny seed that might take root in the soil of one’s bones and grow into an inner tree that branches out, and through, pulling one into more tender, loving, exquisite entwinement with the swirling, ever-blossoming wholeness of Life.
Through her focus and study, the artist knows something about the power of a humble key, a tiny seed, however imperfectly fashioned. She can say nothing, though, of what rooms or trees or wholeness might await the reader on their journey. Her special knowledge is only that such mysterious and beautiful allies Do await, that Nature’s breathtaking vastness permeates and illuminates us all, and that we are each of us deserving of the fertile soil beckoning to us from beneath our weary feet.