Private David Jones’s In Parenthesis and The Anathemata

By | 1 May 2017

As Jones notes, the poet is no longer – or at least at this point in time – ‘by profession the custodian, rememberer, embodier and voice of the mythus’. But for all that there is a constant, writes Jones, that can be ascribed to poetry:

When rulers seek to impose a new order … it is necessary for those rulers to take into account the influence of the poets as recalling something loved and as embodying an ethos inimical to the imposition of that new order … Poetry is to be diagnosed as ‘dangerous’ because it evokes and recalls, is a kind of anamnesis of, e.g. is an effective recalling of something loved.

It is to the poet to ensure that the sacramental act of recognising that being human is more than something reducible to the utile – in fact, that is the opposite of what a human is. To use words as those who would deny the sacred use them is therefore an act of sinister complicity. The challenge that David Jones lived becomes ever more pertinent.

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