Tuesday, December 09, 2008


LUCID. What a lovely word. A word that forms a firm shape with the tongue right behind it – but feels full of light and expansion even as one speaks it – or writes it. Its meaning is multifarious – shining, bright, clear, transparent, rational, sane, leading to perception and understanding. For me it is also means a kind of carefully, even lovingly, chosen language where the light shines through – and in. An illumination . . .

Lucidity does not mean the reams of docile looking-out-the-window poetry that seems to be a staple of the Australian poetry diet. The “I am a poet and I will write a poem today” school. Lucidity can write with a tongue of fire. Often it’s a sense of urgency, a sense of dire times that can make a poem searingly lucid.

The poet Dorothy Porter as cited on the International Poetry Web.

I learned of Dorothy Porter just today from virginia on Twitter. Regrettably, I also learned that Dorothy Porter just died.

I suspect that my failure to know nothing about this, by all accounts, exceptional Australian poet until today has something to do with being excessively American, for which I apologize.

(I'm working on it.)


em said...

another poet you might find some good to know (don't know if his work has been translated though): rené char wrote "lucidity is the wound closest to the sun" (of course it sounds sooooo much better in french: "la lucidité est la blessure la plus rapprochée du soleil"), a quote i keep rolling in my mind in the dark hours

suttonhoo said...

so lovely -- I found a few of his poems online -- thank you for the introduction.

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