‘Imagination, the Divine Vision’

“I have criticized a certain widespread and popular kind of modern poetry as being itself coloured by the materialist ideology whose premisses are unquestioned in our current secular culture. Such writers depict a material universe devoid of meanings and values, a rather distasteful commonplace to which (such poetry implies) it is courageous and honest to come to terms because that is ‘reality’ (…) Photographic precision of detail is the measure of the poet’s skill, and a kind of knowing cynicism which reduces all to the commonplace of his ‘honesty’ and, it is implied, his or her social commitment. (…) Such verse — I cannot call it poetry — corresponds to the premisses of the current materialist culture and its assumptions and expectations but does nothing to nourish the heart or the soul, or in Blake’s words ‘to open the eternal worlds’ which are our true universe. Such work fulfils no function at all which cannot be done as well or better in a news bulletin or a social survey or a weather report. (…) ‘One thing alone makes a poet,’ Blake wrote, ‘Imagination, the Divine Vision.’ To obscure or deny that vision in verse is not to be a poet. The calling of a poet is indeed a sacred one, but only in so far as the poet performs that sacred task of speaking to the human imagination in its own language, of the eternal order and harmony of which all being is a manifestation. For those who like their news and social surveys in verse, well and good, but I suggest that this is not poetry and has no bearing on the true function of the arts which is to nourish the human spirit, to build the invisible house of the soul.”

From Nature & Meaning, Kathleen Raine (in The Underlying Order and other essays, Temenos Academy, 2008)

Le poème sauvage – Jos Roy

le poème sauvage n’est pas sauvage puisqu’il

chien disait l’homme à l’homme et chacun perdait sa parole

le poème n’est pas autre chose
 qu’une chose                  (sauvage/sylvestre)                      vivante qui pousse malgré toute
condition catastrophique du monde                       qui pousse malgré tout
faut dire              :             on se fout du biotope des
civilisations & de toute cette littérature qui ne situe rien
(presque rien)
(extrait – pour lire le texte dans son intégralité :

Le BH2 vu par le Visage Vert

“Mais ce sont les œuvres — poèmes, nouvelles, essais — qui priment avec, pour seul commentaire, la traduction (puisque l’un des principes duBlack Herald est de publier tous ses textes au moins en français ou en anglais, quelle qu’en soit la langue originale, de toute façon toujours restituée.) Le seule exception, déjà citée, est l’introduction de Stubbs (on peut la lire ici), laquelle réaffirme la primauté des voix sur les auteurs eux-mêmes et préconise leur émergence, “sur la rive opposée à l’égotisme contemporain“. À cette lumière, et bien loin du narcissisme sans joie où s’embourbent nombre de revues ou de magazines littéraires, on ira donc, dans ce deuxième numéro du Black Herald, chercher des voix dont le seul point commun est probablement de ne jamais s’écouter parler (ce qui les rapproche, toutes poétiques qu’elles soient, de la littérature de genre si chère au Visage vert).”

à lire sur le blog du Visage Vert, revue et éditeur.

Rimbaud in Java


Rimbaud in Java, The lost voyage, by Jamie James (Editions Didier Millet, 2011)

à paraître prochainement en français (Editions du Sonneur, traduction de Anne-Sylvie Homassel)


For over a century almost nothing was known about what Rimbaud did and where he went while he was in Java. Now Editions Didier Millet, the small press based in Singapore and Paris, has published Rimbaud in Java, the new book by Jamie James, the first book devoted to the poet’s lost voyage to the Far East. James, an American novelist and critic resident in Indonesia since 1999, reviews everything that is known about this mysterious episode. To fill in the tantalizing gaps, he imaginatively reconstructs what the poet must have seen and informed speculation about what he might have done on his voyage to the tropics, vividly recreating life in nineteenth century Java along the way. Rimbaud in Java concludes with an inquiry into what the Orient represented in the poet’s imagination, with a scandalous, amusing sketch history of French orientalism.

To read more about the book: http://www.rimbaudinjava.com/


More about Arthur Rimbaud

Rimbaud and the New Inquisition (by Paul Stubbs)


“Nobody can teach you to write poetry” E.E. Cummings

Selected Letters, E.E. Cummings
(edited by F.W. Dupee and George Stade, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969)


Particles of truth – Paul Stubbs reviews Jacques Dupin’s ‘Of Flies & Monkeys’

This book comprises three collections: De singes et de mouches (Of Flies and Monkeys, 2001), Les Mères (Mothers, 2001) and Coudrier (Hazel Tree, 2006), all of which, in truth, are fused of the same semantic world-surge, image-fusion, language-mesh. The poetry of Dupin, at its most intense and vaulted pressure of ink and blood, continually uproots us, gnawing at the heart, until we experience them: the sudden salmon upsurge of selves, his teeming and punctuated mind-flows, the reversed resurrections (his flesh zipped up and then unzipped to reveal exposed syntactical bone); amid a carnival concentration and concise pictograms of poetical sense, we feel at once the jolt and the jarring of the pulley-system of his sentences, those which Rimbaud envisioned for us all when he wrote that poetry would one day be “thought latching onto thought and pulling.Paul Stubbs

To read the review


The Black Herald – Issue #2

Photomontage by ParisLike from “À bout de souffle / Breathless” (1960) by Jean-Luc Godard

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