Joel Sumner Smith

Product Manager @Gatsby focused on developer experience.
Analogical thinker in an analytical world.

Letters

Why not start off on the right foot?

The real value of art and life are perhaps best defined and felt in the tension between them. The effort to perfect the work rises out of, and communes with and in turn informs, the effort to perfect life…

Wendell Berry
Standing by Words p. 22

I have begun to understand Berry in a new way for several reasons. Primarily, my studies at UD have showed me the poverty of all the reading I have done so far. Poetry is a subtler art that I had previously imagined; hence my understanding of art has grown in proportion. Secondly, my life has also become much less my own, and so the tension which my art has with life has been intensified, almost to the point of giving up the art. But, I am beginning to see now that there are different ends to which poetry must strive. It is no longer self-orientation (the rearranging of the self according to a fluxuating view of reality around me) but instead a world-orientation (the reaaranging of new facts according to preexisting coherence.) Poetry is always poetry, as truth is always truth. Our orientation toward it, however, is always changing.

© 2020, Joel Sumner Smith