I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason–
John Keats, letter to his brothers, Dec. 21, 1817
This week witnessed the birth of a new group blog, qarrtsiluni. Beth explained better than I could what we are about. K. of Lucid Moment is the Managing Editor and blog host; he, Beth, whiskey river and I make up the editorial team for September and October. After that, we hope to pass the baton to others.
Go take a look. And please consider contributing original prose, poetry and/or artwork; all modes, moods and themes are welcome within the broad parameters of a monthly theme.
To be “capable of being in uncertainties” is to be literally in the midst. The poet is in the midst. The poem, too, is in the midst, a kind of magnet for complex historical, literary, and psychological forces, as well as a way of maintaining oneself in the face of the multiplicity.
There are serious consequences to being in the midst. For instance, one is subject to influences. One experiences crises of identity. One suffers from self-consciousness. One longs for self-knowledge while realizing at the same time that under the circumstances self-knowledge can never be complete.
Charles Simic, “Negative Capability and Its Children,” in The Uncertain Certainty