Le poetry de fromage monkey
Dominique de Villepin likes poetry that doesn’t make sense, reports Susannah Herbert in The Telegraph.
Dominique de Villepin, the foreign minister, aristocrat and homme de lettres who has done so much to redefine French diplomacy as the art of inducing frothing fits of rage in your most powerful allies, is a brave man. This Friday, he publishes his magnum opus Eloge des voleurs de feu (“Tribute to the fire-stealers”) — a remarkable 800-page analysis of the poets and the poetry that have shaped his world-view.
. . . Not for him the rueful crumpled wisdom of a W.H. Auden: “Poetry makes nothing happen.” Instead, de Villepin sets himself squarely in the outsider school of the tortured and feverish Promethean rebel, damned by genius to perpetual spiritual agony.
His book “listens to the seed of the terrible voice which cleaves our consciences and feeds our imagination. It affirms its confidence in words, which force open the doors of mystery and give it movement and brightness”. He put the final touches to the manuscript during the negotiations over the second UN resolution on Iraq. There is nothing, note, about the power of words to, er, communicate.
De Villepin’s favorite is Rimbaud, “patron saint of misunderstood adolescents.”
I’m a big Ogden Nash fan myself.