It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
“Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints. They never succeed in being themselves…”
“…in his life is a haiku poet. Anyone who can write ten is a Master.”
From: “Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing”, by Frederick Franck
Leithart quoting Barfield. Bold is mine.
leithart.com » Blog Archive » Technical terms
They express, as nearly as any word can do, a concrete, particular thing, and not an abstract, generalized idea. . . .it may be worth pointing out here an instinctive tendency in poets, and others, to use general term of things which they are ignorant of or despise, or in which they can discern no poetic value, and particular – even technical – terms of things which really inspire them. Love is the begetter of intimate knowledge; for what we love it is not tedious, but delightful, to observe minutely.”
He continues: “No genuine lover of poetry and of words can pick up a book on, say, Botany or Metallurgy, and read of spores and capsules and lanceolate leaves, or pearly and adamantine lustres, without feeling poetically enriched by that section of the new vocabulary which actually impinges on his own present consciousness of Nature. Nor can he even listen to a circle of enthusiasts – sailors, golfers, wireless men, actors, and the like – riding, as they do, their special hobby-horses idiomatically over all departments of life, without being delighted, without being frappe (for a short time only) by the result.”
“The gods in their graciousness give us an occasional first line for nothing; but it is for us to fashion the second, which must chime with the first and not be unworthy of its supernatural elder.”
-Paul Valery: The Art of Poetry, p.18
“…when a poem is said to have two meanings, both are…in the poem…the poem is their union.”
Charles Williams, The Figure of Beatrice, 45
see also Nabakov here.
“More vividly than ever before he realized that art has two constant, two unending concerns: it always meditates on death and thus always creates life. All great, genuine art resembles and continues the Revelation of St. John.”
(from the scene where Zhivago is walking behind the funeral procession of his friend)