Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The previous post, Creativity, was a reworking of what had originally been a comment for another blogger. He has said he likes my long comments; this excessively prolix one was the result of several days pondering, and the fact that he'd been writing poetry. Poetry and I have a love/ hate relationship.
Jane Austen, in Persuasion: “[ it is ] the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely; and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly, were the very feelings which ought to taste it sparingly.”
And yet, this line, once read, has reverberated in my mind for many long years:
'Oh Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?’  Percy Bysshe Shelley 'Ode to the West Wind'.
Art is personal. The perfect words, the unexpected music, the sudden image can come close to your heart and forever after influence your thoughts.
Art can be used to manipulate: not just to enhance emotional reactions, but to control your mind. Think propaganda. 
It behooves us to be aware of our own reactions, and recognize that we are being manipulated. That doesn't mean don't let yourself sink completely into the emotions. No, enjoy the art and your reactions,and all the pleasures that brings. But know that you are making the choice, and recognize when to pull back.
As a writer, I must add, analyzing any work of art only increases its impact. To see the skill, the carefully chosen word, the subtle harmonic shift, the delicate brush stroke... knowing how the effect was achieved only enriches the experience.r

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