32 Points from Bell on Poetry

Today I came across this list of zen-like thoughts on poetry by Marvin Bell. The way I see it, there should probably also be a thirty-third point that says something like, “Don’t believe everything you read about poetry from lists.” That’s because as much as anything we can ever say might be “true” about poetry (and Bells thoughts strike me as some of the truest), there is also some sense in which, by definition and because of the nature of poetry, it must also be a lie. Yep, I’ll admit–that includes everything I’ve ever said here on my website as well. Which is one of the great things about poetry–that it distorts/evades/transcends truth into much more interesting territory. And, as Bell says in point twenty eight, it’s also, after all, “just poetry.”