Here is today's question:
What makes a good work of art?
What is a good poem? Mere technical prowess? Mechanical precision married to intensity of thought and feeling? Perspicacious observation? Or "a certain je ne sais quoi," to quote Peter Schickele?
And what is a good quality photograph, from an artistic point of view? What makes a piece of music a work of genius? Can we list off the items that make it great? Or does greatness transcend the individual features? When is a painting wonderful? Are only subjective evaluations valid, or are there objective measures of quality?
Here is a poem we can talk about, maybe, in relation to this. It's formless, and it's talking about the difficulty of writing poetry about God! So it can spark a meta-conversation (love it!). Is it any good? If so, how can it be? It follows no form. If it's no good, how do we know that? Against what standard? So, have fun.
17 February 2006
Lines on Listening
Anger blooming little starflowers on my eyelashes
Why do You leave me wandering in my own hollow cries?
Why must I shout and shout into this,
my own ringing echo?
Blank white overcast sky pressing down out of reach
rumble of something on thunder
How can I draw Your shape
on a blank white page
when my brush is dipped in and dripping
with silence—empty silence—
when my pen holds a slim cylinder
of entropy—shifting slipping—
Yes, I do see the mountains.
They do fade range after range after range,
six at least, majesties mist-paling off to a wrinkled horizon.
And I do feel how clean this river-water is,
how cool, how absolute by itself and in its pouring over boulders.
I do hear it chattering below this pool,
Murmur murmur over a crunch of rocks,
but I do not know what it is saying.