it will never end in wisdom if it doesn't begin in delight

Read for pleasure. Read junk. Read every kind of book. But read for pleasure. The reason the Puritans wanted to stamp out poetry was because it gave pleasure. It’s about things you love, things that you care about. Sir Philip Sidney, in the generation before Shakespeare, said, “Poetry begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” And it will never end in wisdom if it doesn’t begin in delight and continue in delight. When you read a poem and you think, “God, that is so beautiful, I don’t want to forget that,” and you go on saying it to yourself because you love it, that’s pleasure. That is real pleasure.

- W.S. Merwin, in interview with Ed Rampell at The Progressive. You can read more of the interview here.

1 comment:

daniela elza said...

I love it. What a great comment. So true. Thanks for posting. Enough with the suffering image of the artist. There is suffering in the world. But the act of writing is a delightful adventure that pays off in numerous ways, one of which could be wisdom. (ok, I will not count the editing and publishing pains, those we inflict on ourselves:-))