I will have to think about it. But before I was working through this table of contents, a friend of mine who works in the financial aid office, but whose real love is theater, brought his lunch to my office so we could catch up on how our Christmas vacations had gone. As these conversations tend to go, we got discussing the purposes of art.
A Momentary Stay Against Confusion: The Poetry of Robert Frost
I said that I think one of the purposes of art is to organize the chaos we find around us. He said that one of the purposes of art is to teach us how to be human. I do not think these are conflicting definitions. I think art does many things. It does organize the chaos. Robert Frost famously said that poetry is a momentary stay against chaos. Music takes chaotic noise and organizes it into something that is interesting and often uplifting to hear.
The Elegiac Poem: “A Momentary Stay Against Confusion”
Visual art can make us reconsider the shapes, colors and relationships we see around us. And so, as I was reading the table of contents of my textbook, I found favorites. However, art also reaches across time. The two poets I quote above wrote in the 20 th Century, but once, in , I stood in front of a Botticelli fresco that hangs in the Lourve with tears rolling down my cheeks.
Painted in the late 15 th Century, it seemed as fresh as the day it was painted, the colors bright and arresting, the expressions on the people something I could recognize. Nothing in the painting connected to the century in which I was living, and yet, it spoke across time to the point that it brought me to tears. In his poem "GP Writes an Elegy," Moore wrote of the death of friends from cancer as well as the loss of youth and a past that is forever gone. Toward the end of the poem, GP Graveyard Poet relieves his angst and the growing shadow of death in his life, by pumping himself up "with tales of prowess, conquest, field goals, I believe that if we are among the fortunate ones, we write.
” Momentary Stay Against Chaos” | Write Some WhatNot
How fortuitous that the day of the Writers' Conference happened to be a glorious autumn day. Fall is Moore's favorite season, a "glorious orgy of death," but also a harbinger of new beginnings.
Moore reminisced about the starting of a new school year, the "sense of possibility" inherent in the season. In his poem "Fall" one becomes fully aware of the double meaning of the word "fall," as in the sense of "overreaching" like Icarus.
Faustus and Milton, who declared in Paradise Lost that his object was "to justify the ways of God to man. I am not easily moved to tears but I felt a lump growing in my throat as lines in Moore's poems captured moments that mirrored so many similar moments in my own life and brought to me , as Wordsworth would say, "thoughts that do lie too deep for tears. At one point in his talk, offering a caveat for his own poetry, Moore quoted Edgar Arlington Robinson of Richard Cory fame , who once commented about his poetry, "I am a trifle solemn in my verses.
They are poignant and at times painful, wistful and yet resigned, and held together firmly by love and the glorious gift of memory and language.
Inspirational Robert Frost Quotes
Blow on the coal of the heart and we'll see by and by Moore, who grew up the son of a farmer and grandson of a preacher in Reeltown, Alabama, and who took degrees from Rice, Auburn, and Middle Tennessee State, now lives in Decatur, Alabama, with his wife of thirty years. He has been published in numerous literary magazines and serves as assistant editor of POEM magazine.
- A Momentary Stay: A Short Story Collection.
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