Le Personne et le Sacré, by Simone Weil

Simone Weil Le Personne et La sacré

Whilst awaiting this morning for a sheaf of three poems from my Saturday Woman Writer, I thought to add in an excerpt from the Notebooks of Simone Weil, whose Necessity is the most sought after poem on the Poethead blog. I will include at the end of the excerpt a link to Necessity in stand alone format (without comment). Here follows an excerpt from Le Personne Et Le Sacré :

Beauty is the supreme mystery in this world. It is a brilliance that attracts attention but gives it no motive to stay. Beauty is always promising and never gives anything; it creates a hunger but has in it no food for the part of the soul that tries here below to be satisfied; it has food only for the part of the soul that contemplates. It creates desire, and it makes it clearly felt  that there is nothing in it [beauty] to be desired, because one insists above all that nothing about it change. If one does not seek out measures by which to escape from the delicious torment inflicted by it, desire is little by little transformed into love and a seed of the faculty of disinterested and pure attention is created.

I have used this paragraph before as a static text in this blog, because it epitomizes Weil’s writing. It was the centenary of her birth in 2009 and some of those notebooks made their way into general publication. Weil is placed with Paschal in terms of her philosophical and writing output, but it incredibly difficult to locate texts in ordinary bookshops in Ireland. I have quoted from Thinking Poetically, ed Joan Dargan.

I suppose that it is an approach to art that encapsulates the purity of the relationship between the individual and the transcendent work that I find attractive, living in a country (as one does) where people must fight to bring to Government the necessity and importance of the arts: in their funding, archiving, presentation and their preservation. There is always hope that the necessity of the arts in developing the intellect will be recognised and supported in Ireland.

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