T. Byron K. (tbyron) wrote,
T. Byron K.

“The Poet’s Year”

I thought of “The Poet’s Year” by J.W. Goethe once again, I read this small tract of writing while in Graduate school in a collection titled “Masterpieces of The World’s Best Literature” published in 1910. I beliveve that it helped to shape my writing process as a Poet as much as “Letters To A Young Poet” by Rilke or Jim Morrison’s essay on the self interview and it is a book that I have returned to again and again since that time. Goethe helps to clearly define the vocation of the Poet in this writing; “ His poems on the various incidents of rural life, indeed do represent rather the reflections of a refined intellect than the feelings of the common people; but if we could picture a harper were present at the hay, corn, and potato harvests,-if we recollected how he might make the men whom he gathered around him observant of that which recurs to them as ordinary and familiar; if by his manner of regarding it, by his poetical expresssion, he elevated the common, and heigtened the enjoyment of every gift of God and nature by his dignified representation of it, we may truly say he would be a real benefactor to his country. For the first stage of true enlightenment is, that men should reflect upon his condition and circumstances and be brought to regard them in the most agreeable light. The Poet (should) essay to awaken the rude, reckless, unobservant man, who takes everything for granted, to an attentive observation of the high wonders of all nourishing nature, by which he is constantly surrounded.”
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