1 year ago

Poems by Isaac Rosenberg


" POEMS BY ISAAC ROSENBERG tricky slickness, trusting to chance effects, but a subtle suggest iveness, and accident that is the consequence of intention. Here are a few sentences from some " Notes on Art": " Life stales and dulls ; the mind demands noble excitement, half-apprehended surmises, the eternal desire, the beautiful. It is a vain belief that Art and Life go hand-in-hand ; Art is, as it were, another planet. " Mere representation is unreal, is fragmentary. The bone taken from Adam remains a bone. To create is to apply pulsating rhythmic principles to the part ; a unity, another nature, is created." To Miss Seaton. "Thanks so much for the Donne. I had just been reading Ben Jonson again, and from his poem to Donne he must have thought him a giant. I have read some of the Donne ; I have certainly never come across anything so choke-full of profound meaningful ideas. It would have been very difficult for him to express something commonplace, if he had to." 18

; INTRODUCTORY MEMOIR To Miss Seaton. " I forgot to ask you to return my poetry, as I mean to work on some [of the poems]. I agree the emotions are not worth expressing, but I thought the things had some force, and an idea or so I rather liked. Of course, I know poetry is a far finer thing than that, but I don't think the failure was due to the subject— I had nothing to say about it, that's all. Crashaw, I think, is sometimes very sexual in his religious poems, but it is always new and beautiful. I believe we are apt to fix a standard (of subject) in poetry. We acknowledge the poetry in subjects not generally taken as material, but I think we all (at least I do) prefer the poetical subject — " Kubla Khan," " The Mistress of Vision," " Dream - Tryst '" ; Poe, Verlaine. Here feeling is separated from intellect our senses are not interfered with by what we know of facts : we know infinity through melody." After leaving the Slade School, at a loss for work and anxious about his health, Rosenberg thought for a time of going to Russia. But it was difficult for a Jew to get a passport, and he reverted to the African journey which he had contemplated already some years before. 19