By Sa Ashram, Sri Aurobindo
Read or Download Letters on Poetry and Art (Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Volume 27) PDF
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Extra resources for Letters on Poetry and Art (Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Volume 27)
In fact, the wordrhythm is only part of what we hear; it is a support for the rhythm we listen to behind in “the Ear of the ear”, s´ rotrasya s´ rotram. To a certain extent, that is what all great poetry at its highest tries to have, but it is only the overmind rhythm to which it is altogether native and in which it is not only behind the word-rhythm but gets into the word-movement itself and ﬁnds a kind of fully supporting body there. S. Lines from the highest intuitive mind-consciousness, as well as those from the overmind, can have a mantric character — the rhythm too may have a certain kinship with mantric rhythm, but it may not be the thing itself, only the nearest step towards it.
But there is something more in it than that; it is this that a deeper, more inward strand of the consciousness has seen and is speaking, and if we listen more profoundly we can get something more than the admiration and delight of the mind or Housman’s thrill of the solar plexus. We can feel perhaps the Spirit of the universe lending its own depth to our mortal speech or listening from behind to some expression of itself, listening perhaps to its memories of old, unhappy, far-off things, And battles long ago or feeling and hearing, it may be said, the vast oceanic stillness and the cry of the cuckoo Breaking the silence of the seas Among the farthest Hebrides or it may enter again into Vyasa’s “A void and dreadful forest ringing with the crickets’ cry” ˙ pratibhayam ˙ s´ unya ¯ ˙ jhillikagan ¯ .
Are technical elements, the Overmind touch does not consist in that, but in the undertones or overtones of the rhythmic cry and a language which carries in it a great depth or height or width of spiritual truth or spiritual vision, feeling or experience. But all that has to be felt, it is not analysable. If I say that the second line is a magniﬁcent expression of an inner reality most intimate and powerful and the ﬁrst line, with its conception of the ﬁre once “ﬂickering” with the “cry” of clay, but now no longer, is admirably revelatory — you would probably reply that it does not convey anything of the kind to you.
Letters on Poetry and Art (Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Volume 27) by Sa Ashram, Sri Aurobindo