Now What Is Poetry?

'In Love with Poetry' Excerpts

Somebody asked a very famous Chinese poet, Yang Wang-li:

“Now what is poetry?”

He said, “If you say it is simply a matter of words, I will say a good poet gets rid of words. If you say it is simply a matter of meaning, I will say a good poet gets rid of meaning. ‘But,’ you ask,’without words and without meaning, where is the poetry?’ To this I reply: Get rid of words and get rid of meaning, and there is still poetry.”

In fact, only then is there poetry. When words are no more there, when meaning is no more there, then suddenly poetry erupts, explodes. Poetry is a flowering of your being, and religion is more like poetry than like philosophy.

Philosophy tries to explain things – never succeeds. At the most, it can succeed only in explaining away things, but it never succeeds in explaining them. Religion makes no effort to explain life. It tries to live it. Religion does not take life as a problem to be solved – it takes life as a mystery to be lived. Religion is not curious about life. Religion is in awe, in tremendous wonder about life.

satsang on the lawn

Just our being here is such a miracle. It cannot be explained why I am here, why you are here. Why these trees are here, why these stars are here. Why at all this universe exists, and goes on peopling itself with trees and birds and people. Why in the first place it is there, there is no way to know. It simply is there. But it inspires awe! It fills the heart with wonder. It is unbelievably true – it is incredible! It is absurd, but tremendously beautiful.

Why it is there, there is no way to say – but it is there. And religion says: Don’t waste your time for the why. It is there: delight in it! Celebrate it! Be lost into it! And let it be lost into you. Meet it! Let the meeting be like two lovers entering into each other. Let it be an orgasmic experience.

Osho, A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Ch 1 (excerpt)

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