Tagarchief: G.K. Chesterton

Het bevatten van de werkelijkheid

In een lezing voor de Chesterton Society, gaf de Belgische schrijver en sinoloog Simon Leys (pseudoniem van Pierre Ryckmans) een definitie van poëzie die niet alleen veel misverstanden kan wegnemen, maar tevens helder maakt waar het in de dichtkunst om gaat.

“But what is poetry? It is not merely a literary form made of rhythmic and rhyming lines – though Chesterton also wrote (and wrote memorably) a lot of these. Poetry is something much more essential. Poetry is grasping reality, making an inventory of the visible world, giving names to all creatures, naming what is. Thus, for Chesterton, one of the greatest poems ever written was, in Robinson Crusoe, simply the list of things that Robinson salvaged from the wreck of his ship: two guns, one axe, three cutlasses, one saw, three Dutch cheeses, five pieces of dried goat flesh… Poetry is our vital link with the outside world – the lifeline on which our very survival depends – and therefore also, in some circumstances, it can also become the ultimate safeguard of our mental sanity.”

Chesterton is uiteraard G.K. Chesterton of voluit:  Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

De lezing van Leys is opgenomen in diens laatste essaybundel The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Essays, New York, NY: New York Review Books 2013.