Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Richard Wilbur on abstraction in painting and poetry

"There must be some poets who have very little visual imagination, even though the eye is the primary sense. Everybody's agreed on that. Since the middle ages I think. Even D.H. Lawrence, who made out a strong case against the primacy of vision, was a painter.
I think I can say why there are more painter-poets, or poets who are would be painters, than there are poets who have to do with music. It strikes me that music is infinitely more abstract then painting or poetry. That you can't make any precise statements as to what music is up to. Poetry simply has to be exact and concrete or it bores to death. And on the whole, I think--despite some successes in abstract painting-that it's the same with painting."

-Richard Wilbur, Conversations with Richard Wilbur

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