“In the very heart of writing, there is a questioning of writing. In the midst of this absence, something like a voice which persists.” Yves Bonnefoy, “Image and Presence”: Inaugural Address at the College de France, translated by John T. Nauhgton, The Act and the Place of Poetry.
What is this “in the midst,” this “between”? It is a concept drawn from Plato’s dialogues. Simone Weil developed it, as did Eric Voegelin. William Desmond writes: ” . . . I would say that being in the between, the metaxu, does not enforce an ‘either/or’ on us between ‘being in the midst’ and being drawn ‘beyond.’ The ‘meta’ of metaphysics is double, requiring both ontological exploration of the immanent between of finitude and metaphysical transcending to what cannot be determined in entirely finite terms” (The Intimate Strangeness of Being, xvii).
As William Desmond writes, “There is a rich wholeness there — but somethingbeyond wholeness is intimated in the showing there” (God and the Between 136). We are so used to thinking of poems as “wholes” that we betray “the poem’s call” which comes from something beyond wholeness.
I am a retired editor (The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University, Brown University) and literary agent. I teach private writing lessons on line and in Portsmouth, NH.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org