Steve Weiner, computer specialist and Aesthetic Realism associate, writes:
Aesthetic Realism is the education that shows the deep, organic, tremendously hopeful relation between poetry and our lives! That is what this current issue of TRO is about. And you’ll learn about a fight within everyone, which people haven’t understood: How much do we want to go forward into the world—see and feel the meaning that is in people, things, happenings? What in us is against that? And do we have two notions of what it means to assert ourselves—one beautiful and sensible, the other unjust and hurtful? You’ll have an exciting and very edifying time reading “About Words, Feelings, & What Poetry Is,” the new issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known!
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
Here is the second part of Poetry Is Alphabetical, a 1971 lecture by Eli Siegel. It is at once playful, lighthearted, and of the utmost seriousness—including as to our own lives. In it, Mr. Siegel discusses a word for every letter of the alphabet to show what a poem must have in order to be the authentic item—to be art.
And he is the critic who has explained that we need to see what real poetry is in order to know who we are and to have our lives go truly well. We want to make sense of opposing desires in us, he wrote:
We want to move, and we want to be quiet; we want to assail and we want to be secluded; we want to be delighted, and we want to be self-satisfied; we want excitement and we want repose….And it is poetry that makes jarring, separating propensities to act as one; it is poetry that coalesces forces in a oneness that is not languid. [“The Immediate Need for Poetry,” TRO 758]
The first section of Poetry Is Alphabetical dealt with a term beginning with A: Abandon. In the present section Mr. Siegel looks at words arising from letters B through F—and I’ll comment a little on one of these discussions.
There’s Forward—in Poetry & Life
To illustrate the word Forward, he speaks, magnificently, about Alfred Tennyson’s “Ulysses.” That is one of the most popular poems in English. And while a poem’s being popular is not the same as its being great, or even being real art— “Ulysses” (despite various academic critics) is great. Mr. Siegel, while showing what the poem is about, also describes vividly its beauty, poetic authenticity, musical might….Read more