Poetry is the activity of making the medium and the membrane resound harmoniously. The best way to do that is to talk about what words really mean, so we can watch them meaning, in a way we don’t care to do when we use them casually.
Beauty, like poetry, is the whisper of gold through trees; buildings dipped in golden-orange, burnt sienna, and facing west; the underwater blue of after-day air, and the physics of light God has lent to us in order to describe it. Beauty lies in the integrity of the poor, in the sustaining conversation of a wounded healer.
Beauty is of life in every corner, wet cells sucking nourishment, giving birth, teeming through every grain of earth. We drink water once swallowed by Jesus, breathe atoms once blown by Buddha, share the light of stars with unknown beings on undiscovered planets. Of this light, this water and air, this story without begin, without end, of this universe of countless souls is beauty.
Beauty is the bringing together of perfect shape, color, texture, sound, thought and feeling, all meeting in the same spot at the same time in such a way as to make us forget everything ugly, evil and sad for at least a few moments. It is God’s antidote to tragedy and heartbreak, a hedge against life’s bad bets.
it seems to me that harmony of mind is the necessary aspect for the creation of beauty. Perhaps harmony is in fact the underlying element that defines what is beautiful. Perhaps, beauty is when the elements that make up the whole are in balance with each other.
I’m not sure what I think big-B Beauty is. Doubt there’s a vault outside of the universe with all the Ideals sitting around sipping ideal beverages. Beautiful, though, is a lot like funny. It knocks you off what you always assumed was balance, and–for you if not for the rest of the world–it never gets old.
I have always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of beauty and danger—aspects of life which often collide or intertwine. When I was a practicing artist my work often explored this subject. For several years I devoted much of my time to a series of still lifes mingling the beauty of such things as flowers, fish, or pearls with the beauty of broken glass which reflects light and threatens anyone who touches it.
Beyond what we see and hear and feel and what we know is something greater than human formulas can account for. This, for me, is the true subject of poetry, as close to us as a blade of grass, yet essentially unknowable.
“Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.” This is an instant, a unity of my mind and my heart, when only the power of beauty is able to merge the two into one. Only beauty is able to open my own heart and make me see my own self without the mirror.
As long as we are at least partly receptive, when we encounter genuine beauty, in any of its forms, its power temporarily overrides our default consciousness (which is often only a rote semi-consciousness) and, for a period of time that feels halted, it reconfigures our perceptions, our emotions, our points of view, our intellect. It is as if some of the atoms of a beautiful form enter us and some of ours enter it in a transaction that creates a most personal, intimate experience.