E T H N O P O E T I C S :: D I S C O U R S E S
A Note On Negro Poetry (1918)
"I don’t even want to know that there were men before me" (Descartes), but some essential & simple laws, pathetic & muffled fermentation of a solid earth.
To fix on the point where the forces have accumulated, from whence the formulated sense springs, the invisible radiance of substance, the natural relation, but hidden and just, naively, without explanation.
To round off and regulate into shapes, into constructs, the images according to their weight, color and matter; or to map the arrangements of the values, the material and lasting densities, subordinating nothing to them. Classification of the comic operas sanctioned by the aesthetic of accessories. (O, my drawer number ABSOLUTE.)
I abhor to enter a house where the balconies, the "ornaments", are carefully stuck to the wall. Yet the sun, the stars continue to vibrate and hum freely in space, but I loathe to identify the explanatory hypotheses (asphyxiant probable) with the principle of life, activity, certainty.
The crocodile hatches the future life, rain falls for the vegetal silence, one isn't a creator by analogy. The beauty of the satellites – the teaching of light – will satisfy us, for we are God only for the country of our knowledge, in the laws according to which we live experience on this earth, on both sides of our equator, inside our borders. Perfect example of the infinite we can control: the sphere.
To round off and regulate into shapes, into constructs, the images according to their weight, color and matter; or to map the arrangements of the values, the material and lasting densities through personal decision and the unswerving firmness of sensibility, comprehension adequate to the matter transformed, close to the veins and rubbing against them in the pain for the present, definite joy. One creates an organism when the elements are ready for life. Poetry lives first of all for the functions of dance, religion, music and work.
-- Translated by Pierre Joris