Saturday, August 14


Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement. It has the virtue of being able to say twice as much as prose in half the time, and the drawback, if you do not happen to give it your full attention, of seeming to say half as much in twice the time. And, if you accept my proposition that reality is altogether different from our stale view of it, we can say that poetry is the language of reality ...

... The facts of reality are the same in the theater of poetry as they are in the theater of prose. What is different is their implication. What I am trying to say is what I have said elsewhere, that a spade is never so merely a spade as the word spade would imply. I am asking for the sudden dramatic appearance of a spade in time and space, but I am equally asking for a spade which I can dig with. I am asking --- now I come to think of it --- I am asking for both kinds of realism at once.

-- Christopher Fry BBC broadcast 1950