Thursday, April 19, 2018

An Evening With Doug Holder by Brandyn Tse

An Evening with Doug Holder
            The poet delivered one phrase which lingers with me still: “inspiration is not a process, it is something you must prepare yourself for.” He said this all the while, with his right hand cradling a small leather-bound journal; the book trembled in obeisance to the poet’s fevered, interdigitated grip, swaying to the weight of his conviction. It was his unashamed sentiments behind his words which produced an indelible effect upon me. The sheer romanticism of such a comment could not help but rouse my admiration; I could see, at the time, a sort of rebirth of the romantic, Mr. Holder not as a “worshipper of nature,” but as an oracle of the collective unconscious. There was an essence of the people, an economy of spirits, in the writing he unveiled to us that night. He resurrected the corpse of a bar long gone not by reassembling its components, but by means of reassembling its people. The presupposition here is that people are the environment, and the environment the people. In his writing about blondes, Mr. Holder had attempted to extract a core attribute of a wide breadth of people in one group. Did he manage the preservation of the “blonde” soul? Perhaps. But here in this poem another facet of his poetry was produced more palpably: longing.
            In attempting to salvage the dying utterances of places long disappeared, Mr. Holder is attempting to salvage a portion of his being; for these places, and these people contain an irretrievable investment of his own spirit, and have thus been formed by his being. This is the longing Mr. Holder has: to find what he once was in places and people who once were.

**** Brandon Tse is an undergraduate Creative Writing student at Gordon College in Wenham, MA.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful description of the man, the poet, and his spirit.