Friday, October 30, 2020

Thoughts- Poetry to be understood or felt?

I want to understand and appreciate poetry better! I told Pallavi. 

You don't need to understand poetry. It's not written for comprehension!

Maybe, I thought. 

Today, I read Rabindranath's Tagore, Life in my Words. 

Talking about Poetry and understanding,  Rabindranath writes, 

But does one write poetry to explain something? Something felt within the heart tries to find outside shape as a poem. So when, after listening to a poem, anyone says he has not understood, I am nonplussed. If someone smells a flower and says he does not understand, the reply to him is there is nothing to understand, it is only a scent. If he persists, saying that I know, but what does it all mean?" Then one either has to change the subject or make it more abstruse by telling him that the scent is the shape which the universal joy takes in the flower... 

That words have meanings is just the difficulty. That is why the poet has to turn and twist them in metre and verse, so that the meaning may be held somewhat in check, and the feeling allowed a chance to express itself.

This utterance of feeling is not the statement of fundamental truth, or a scientific fact, or a useful moral precept. Like a tear or a smile, a poem is but a picture of what is taking place within. If Science or Philosophy may gain anything from it they are welcome, but that is not the reason of its being.

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