By Fadi Abu Deeb
(Translated from Arabic)
In his wonderful work Heinrich von Ofterdingen, Novalis talks, before death abducts him preventing him from finishing this novel, about poetry as an entity about which we can speak only through the earthly means and tools that we can see and deal with, i.e., through poems, which are insufficient to express the truth of that great inspiring spirit.
For him as for other German romanticists, poetry is infinitely and immeasurably larger than a mere phenomenon expressed by poems or prosaic texts. Poetry is the universal love in itself. It is the eternal inspiration or the eternal manifestation of the creator of the universe. It is, furthermore, that kind spirit near us, cleaving to us. Thus, “the best poetry is that which settles very close to us,” because it emerges spontaneously from the interaction between the real and spontaneous poet and the unfathomable spirit of poetry. Therefore, the art of poetry is a mere limited expression of that unknown universal entity.
And since “love itself is nothing but the most sublime poetry of nature,” thereby love cannot be comprehended, because it is the hidden language that the nature utters in and through all its creatures, and also because it is the unknown mystery that pulses inside, in our innermost, and can go out of us only as sick and deformed in most of the situations and phenomena that we experience.
Real love is not of this world. And indeed there is a huge confusion in respect to this pulsating unknown entity, which is the essence of God the creator and the essence out of which we were created, that groans now inside of us, not finding anything to cure its longing.
To be continued…