"Doubt not, O Poet, but persist. Say, "It is in me, and shall out." Stand there, baulked and dumb, stuttering and stammering, hissed and hooted, stand and strive, until, at last, rage draw out of thee that dream-power which every night shows thee is thine own; a power transcending all limit and privacy, and by virtue of which a man is the conductor of the whole river of electricity."
from "The Poet"
"The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, to be surprised out of our propriety, to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why . . . Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. The way of life is wonderful: it is by abandonment."
How important to be reminded of our first literary loves, of how we need NOT to know sometimes, how we need to return. Hokey or dis-proven Romanticism? Perhaps. But at a time when it seems every poem wants to over-intellectualize, there's something to be said for abandonment and ravishment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If you want a great bio on Federico Garcia Lorca, check out Leslie Stainton's Lorca.
Other notable literary biographies:
Robert Gittings's John Keats
Paul Mariani's The Broken Tower and Dream Songs
David Lehman's The Last Avant-Garde
Less compelling reads:
Paddy Kitchen's Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life (Just plain uninspired)
Ekbert Faas's Robert Creeley: A Biography (Poorly written, completely lacking in vividness)
John Felstiner's Paul Celan (Way too much time spent working out the poems' etymologies)
Has anyone read either of these? If so, which one is worth reading first:
White's Hopkins: A Literary Biography
Martin's Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Very Private Life
What other bios do you recommend?