Thursday, May 13, 2010
Novelist and poet Jim Harrison interviewed.
You once said, “The gift of fiction is to make life live itself.” What is the gift of poetry?

I think it was Heidegger who said that poetry is not elevated common speech, common speech is poetry in severe decline. I recall in Julian Jaynes’ book on the mind, people used to think they were actually talking to the gods, with no irony attached. Rilke said one reason we write poems is to keep the gods alive. The gift of poetry is that it is the first and most primal art form, which gathers together our most valuable feelings.
I don't remember Heidegger saying that, but it sounds good, and poetry as that "which gathers", sounds very Heidegger.
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