(by aneirin talfan davies, 1964)
In his pursuit of perfection the poet in one sense partakes of the same struggle as the saint. The poet can be satisfied with nothing less than the perfect. Crooked words must be bent to the slim perfection of poetry. As Gilson, again, has reminded us: ‘The saint’s perfection lies within himself and he is perfect in the measure of his achievement. Estote perfecti: the spiritual man addresses these words to himself, the artist to the things of his creation – Be ye perfect. It is in the perfection of his works, not of himself, that the artist finds fulfilment.’
But this quest for perfection is something common to the saint and poet in virtue of their common manhood, and the innate urge in the intellect, or the mind, which, as one theologian has said, ‘sweeps upward to perfect intimacy with its object… There is an appetite in everything for the divine, and every mind desires to cleave to its object really and immediately, and contain it in an act of knowledge.’
And the object of the poet is the perfection of that thing called a poem, which can, in the sense we speak of now, be said to partake, in however remote a way, of the divine. And it is in the pursuit of this aim that the poet finds fulfilment, because in this work alone is he fulfilling the essential task of his calling. (p.5)
interesting stuff. since i am on an irrationally expensive pay-computer (it has a coin slot, no kidding!) i will just post these snippets and let you make of them what you will. that’s what i am currently reading anyway.