For me, there’s a likeness between poetry and prayer that is not so much thanks or supplication or other conscious activity, but the more unconscious activity of meditation or dreaming. The likeness lies in poetry and meditative prayer and dreaming all being (potentially anyhow) healing, and all being out of our hands. For me, poetry is mostly silence. The deeper the better. There’s much to be said for consciousness and the rational mind, but it wouldn’t be said in support of the kind of art that I feel most touched by. For me, the unconscious life and beauty (so, truth and beauty!) feel closer to the whole world we live in that is God than other consciousnesses in my life. It goes without saying that you can be close to these two states of mind in suffering, as well as in places. When I say the poetry I like best is mostly silence, I mean that it seems to have come out of silence, to exist in the midst of silence, and to go toward silence.
Jean Valentine in One Whole Voice: What is the difference between a poem and a prayer?
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