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Sunday surprise 2, for Sally B, poetic afflatus

[ by Charles Cameron — a romantic attribute of poets, close to the holy spirit ]

Poetic afflatus is the term for a private wind of inspiration which follows a poet around — on fortunate days. That photo of Donald Hall which Sally Benzon so much admired, I believe illustrates the afflatus — Hall has allowed his hair to stray wherever the whim of wind may take it, while the urbane Obama has curated his to stay close to the skull in all weathers — a remarkable juncture of opposites.

Here, then, for Sally B and all, is the only example I know of, presenting that private wind in a motion picture — here surrounding the person of Richard Burton, ruffling his hair and scarf while all else in the room is still — in an unforgettable clip from Christian Marquand‘s 1968 film Candy, itself a loose (not to say libertine) update of Candide:

3 Responses to “Sunday surprise 2, for Sally B, poetic afflatus”

  1. Sally Benzon Says:

    Charles, you’ve done it again! What a surprise! And Richard Burton’s acting demonstrates what Hall says poets do: “Poets read poems better than actors, you know. Poets speak the voice of the poem . — which is far more complicated than distilling out what ‘it means.’ ” And, “Sound was my doorway into poems and I believe you taste sounds. You chew on them. And they are delicious.” Thank you, once more, Charles, for this wonderful post. Poetic afflatus, indeed!

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Sound.. Here’s Burton again, reading a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

    Though Hopkins has been my father in poetry since Fr Trevor Huddleston first introduced me to him at the age of fifteen or so, this poem never suggested itself to me, until maybe a year ago I came across it in Burton’s voice, and posted it in Hopkins’ words like unto Clapton’s guitar.
    Burton is unbelievable,

  3. Sally Benzon Says:

    Yes,Burton is unbelievable! Thank you, Charles.

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