Quote For The Day

“The genuine artist is never ‘true to life.’ He sees what is real, but not as we are normally aware of it. We do not go storming through life like actors in a play. Art is never real life. The poet sees with a poignancy and penetration that is altogether unique. What matters is that the poet must be true to his art and not ‘true to life,’ whether his art is simple or complex, violent or subdued. Emotion is thought to lie at the center of aesthetic experience. That, however, is not how the matter appears to me. If I am right, the essence of art is insight of a special kind into reality. But such insight is bound to be accompanied by remarkable emotions. A poem would be nothing without some meaning. The truth is that meaning is an awareness and a communication. But it is no ordinary awareness, no ordinary communication.

Novelty must be inspired. But there must be novelty. This crisis is most evident in religion. The theologians whose thought is most astir today do make articulate a supreme need, and one that has now become also an imperative, as their urgency shows, the need to infuse into the ages of enlightenment an awareness of reality adequate to their achievements and such as will not be attenuated by them. There is one most welcome and authentic note; it is the insistence on a reality that forces itself upon our consciousness and refuses to be managed and mastered. It is here that the affinity of art and religion is most evident today. Both have to mediate for us a reality not ourselves. This is what the poet does. The supreme virtue here is humility, for the humble are they that move about the world with the love of the real in their hearts,” – Wallace Stevens, “On Poetic Truth,” in Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, Prose.