When love was the greatest emotion that one expressed to a person it sought means of expression. The language of poet myth writes Robert Graves, in his “historical grammar of poetic myth,” is about changing relationship between men and women. The greatest use of poetry in its “obstinate continuance” – up until today is in songs – the poetic theme continues to be love.
“Poetry in its archaic setting, in fact, was either the moral and religious law laid down for man by the nine-fold Muse, or the ecstatic utterance of man in furtherance of this law and in glorification of the Muse.” … The White Goddess …“Truth has been represented by poets as a naked woman: a woman divested of all garments or ornaments that will commit her to any particular position in time and space…The poet is in love with the White Goddess, with Truth: his heart breaks with longing and love for her…A poet cannot continue to be a poet if he feels that he has made a permanent conquest of the Muse, that she is always his for the asking.
“The reason why so remarkably few young poets continue nowadays to publish poetry after their early twenties is not necessary the decay of patronage and the impossibility of earning a decent living by the profession of poetry. … The reason is that something dies in the poet. … perhaps also he has lost his sense of the White Goddess: the woman whom he took to be a Muse turns into a domestic woman and would have him turn similarly into a domesticated man. Loyalty prevents him from parting company with her, especially if she is the mother of his children and is proud to be reckoned a good housewife; and as the Muse fades out, so des the poet.”
When violence replaces love that aggression seeks means of expression– in poetry, in song. So much of what our young listens to music:– in the minibus, on pods, in dance halls, are violent rhymes that ridicule woman and encourage disrespect and where money buys almost anything except truth. We must escape from this dilemma.