Everything must be carried to term before it is born. To let every impression and the germ of every feeling come to completion inside, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, in what is unattainable to one's own intellect, and to wait with deep humility and patience for the hour when a new clarity is delivered: that alone is to live as an artist, in the understanding and in one's creative work.
These things cannot be measured by time, a year has no meaning, and ten years nothing. To be an artist means: not to calculate and count; to grow and ripen like a tree which does not hurry the flow of its sap and stands at ease in the spring gales without fearing that no summer may follow. It will come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are simply there in their vast, quiet tranquillity, as if eternity lay before them. It is a lesson I learn every day amid hardships I am thankful for: patience is all!
from Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
Isn’t revision the scarring of islands with paths?
from Headlines (this issue of HITHr), Kenneth Rosen
Notes while waiting in quiet tranquility for inspiration:
This issue begins with Ken Rosen's musings on the act of revision in art and writing, prompted by Shakespeare's Sonnet 129. Here's a tease of the opening paragraph: I’ve been thinking all day about Shakespeare’s phrase, in Sonnet 129, “a waste of shame,” especially the word ‘waste,’ fulcrum upon which his poem gets launched and lurches into its angry uneasiness. This is in connection with the writing, sharing and revising of art—poems, in my case—which I always discover myself prematurely sharing, and thus, soon in “a waste of shame,” specifically, the hot tightening of the skin on my face, then falling into an oubliette of hopelessness, sharing to begin with tainted with nuisance, sharing a revision “a waste of shame,” for its corruption of a kindly, charitable opportunity, and for one becoming, inevitably, a pest and pestilence.
Since releasing the last issue of Hole In The Head, I've spent hours watching the congressional January 6 hearings and reading news reports and analysis of the stock market, the climate, the supreme court, the Red Sox, Ukraine and Russia, the shame of a World Cup to be held in Qatar, wildfires, school shootings, street shootings, store shootings, celebration shootings. And I've found relief in spending time digging in my garden, watching birds in the feeder outside my office window, listening to music (Schumann leads to Brahms etc.), and putting this issue of Hole In The Head together. You all should start your own literary/art magazine. It's therapeutic.
Speaking of Brahms, this is what Michael Steinberg writes of the adagio non troppo movement of Serenade #1 in D major in his notes for Philharmonia Baroque Productions–"The slow movement is spacious and in every way glorious. With the bassoons and low strings densely bunched in the middle and low registers, the sound is unmistakably Brahmsian— Brahmsian euphony, Brahmsian melancholy. This movement is the heart of the Serenade. Like the first movement, it is unexpectedly prodigal in the amount of material it offers. For just a few seconds, a brief development finds a place of such radiance, such brightness of harmony, that we scarcely know what to make of it. What is such transcendence doing in a serenade? Brahms’s great teacher, Mozart, would have understood. Brahms gives the coda to the flute. It is true poetry, a few bars to make us hold our breath." Wow!
To repeat: What is such transcendence doing in a serenade? (I hope you find yourself saying something like that as you read this issue.)
The wonderful cover cow of this issue is from California painter, Ginny Speirs. You'll find more of her work on the inside. It speaks of that quiet that can pervade an August afternoon.
I probably shouldn't spend any time promoting my recently published collection of poems, Dog or Wolf, from Nine Mile Books. But it's just a week until my 70th birthday so I'm giving myself a gift of indulgence. Check it out here: Dog or Wolf | Nine Mile Books
As always, thank you to the entire staff here at Hole In The Headquarters: Tom Bruton, Bill Burtis, Jere DeWaters, Marie Harris, Michael Hettich, Nancy Jean Hill, Marilyn A. Johnson, and Peter Johnson
And thank you to everyone who submits work to Hole In The Head.
Comments, questions, personal declarations & Brahmsian euphonies should be directed to: editor@holeintheheadreview
We'll be back with another Hole In The Head November 1.