Poetry Allies Itself with Beauty
Poetry allies itself with beauty - a supreme union - but never uses it as its ultimate goal or sole nourishment. Refusing to divorce art from life, love from perception, it is action, it is passion, it is power, and always the innovation which extend borders. Love is its hearth-fire, insurrection its law; its place is everywhere, in anticipation. It wants neither to deny nor to keep aloof, it expects no benefits from the advantages of its time. Attached to its own destiny and free from any ideology, it recognizes itself the equal of life, which is its own justification. And with one embrace, like a single great, living strophe, it clasps both past and future in the present, the human with the superhuman planetary space with universal space. The obscurity for which it is reproached pertains not to its own nature, which is to illuminate, but to the night which it explores, the night of the soul and the mystery in which human existence is shrouded. Obscurity is banished from its expression and this expression is no less exacting than that of science.
Saint-John Perse, in 'Speech at the Nobel Banquet, 1960'