a singing in things

I sometimes think it's as if there's a singing in things that I am so far from being able to know that I'm only guessing that I can call it "singing." What I would very much like to do (why? I have no idea) is to come alongside that and sing with it. In a sense that's what I think I'm doing, singing alongside this unsingable, perhaps-not-even-song. One seems to know this in different ways at different points in one's life. My singing doesn't have to make any sense, or be beautiful, or publishable. When you think of writing as a business, going to stores and buying it, this image of singing alongside something seems ludicrous. The whole issue of audience is not as important to me as it is to other poets. The important relationship is between the singing you are able to do and this sub-terranean singing, or flux, that eros keeps wanting to know like a setter that keeps pointing. That's where you have to be immaculate; that's where integrity is demanded. If you screw around there, forget it, you're disqualified. That's what's important, what ever happens after that, publication, awards, reviews, is completely incidental. Who cares what happens. This thing, that's important. People who start writing by thinking about publication are, I think, grabbing the stick by the wrong end; the task, it seems to me, is just to move up close to whatever it is that you will speak. Everything else will solve itself, even if it solves itself in ways that don't look like solutions.

- Tim Lilburn, from a 1997 interview with Darryl Whetter in Studies in Canadian Literature. You can read the whole thing here.


I Am The Russian Queen said...

Hey there Poet,
Thanks for this. I agree: more singing less hand-wringing on "getting published" (not that all poety hand/wring, jus' that sometimes it seems--)
Congrats on the book cover - rather beautiful. Okay, onward now to the Lista book comments. Heh.

daniela elza said...

Thanks, Rob.

Spot on. Hits the spot. On target. and other spotty metaphors.

So this is my RSS feed. :-) I have heard you singing.

Rob Taylor said...

Thanks, Renee, re: the cover.

And as Daniela says, it's great to have the RSS feed subscribing again ;)