Socrates or Platocrates, as my old friend used to call them, said that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them. Ever since I read this passage from ‘Apology’, I have been pursued by these words. What has been said seems to suggest that poets, reduced to some unconscious transmitters, devices made of flesh and bone, did not really succeed as artists, and what is more, they actually failed as humans. It all goes back to what Roman Ingarden calls ‘Konkretisation’, that is realisation, because as Wolfgang Iser explains, there is more to the ‘literary work’ than just the text itself, and it is brought into existence by both the text and its realisation by the reader.
So, here I am, a poet, although I have always believed that when I finish writing a poem, I stop being an author and just become another reader (I realise that this ‘just’ may sound belittling in the context of the above). Of course, being aware of the intricacies of the creative process that resulted in a given poem puts me in a slightly different position than that of a typical reader. However, I am subject to the same interactions between perception and memory, both vital to the process of reading a literary text. Even knowing my own biography does not give me any particular advantage, and can even be an obstacle. Sometimes I think that anonymous authorship of works of literature in the early Middle Ages was not such a bad idea. Well, as the great star of the Czechoslovak stage, Helena Vondráčková, sang in the 1960s, to už se nevrátí. We have already crossed the Rubicon.
If what I have said so far actually says anything useful, it is not for me to judge. I will only add that my name is Maciej Modzelewski and I write hidden pilcrow blog mainly to share my poetry, both English and Polish. From time to time, some prose will also appear here, although not often. So, dear fellow lost soul, welcome to my humble thresholds and make yourself at home here. And if you feel the desire to contact me please use this form.