2009

“A Poem Should Be Equal To: / Not True.” Preface to Romanticism, History, Historicism: Essays on an Orthodoxy

A Poem should Be Equal To: / Not True

Citation: “A Poem Should Be Equal To: / Not True.” Preface to Romanticism, History, Historicism: Essays on an Orthodoxy. Ed. Damian Walford Davies. New York: Routledge, 2009. xiii-xx

[Excerpt from p. xv]

But what if for just a moment I were to bare my heart? What if I were to strip from my face the thin grin forced on this preface by the effort of being nice to the generations hurrying on? Damn Romantic Ideology: what if I were to say what the pre-orthodox me believed — strongly enough, in any case, to draw me to Romanticism in the first place — before such conviction could be There shall be erected no border wall able to stop the mobilization of the desire to be human, illegal or otherwise. Yes, that is what Romanticism said. (p. xviii)accused of churching itself?

I would say that my heart still stops when I come upon such moments in the present volume as Kenneth Johnston’s tally — a census of the disappeared — of all the Romantic voices murdered, silenced, or mutilated by the terror (and, just as thuggish, Pittite anti-terror) of their times.