Smith and Sacred Spaces

The class interview with Austin Smith was very interesting and touched on a number of points that intrigued me, but the point I found most interesting was his description of his spaces. How his past and places like the silo are mythologized in his mind as these great beings, yet when he goes back to see them they aren’t as he remembered. That he takes his memories and changes them for his poems a bit into something that still existed, but not as it once did. Smith’s comments about how other people from his town were commenting on some of these poems and even pointing out this flaw got to me, as well as his explanation that it is just his inspiration. That his poems and the places in these poems are how Smith saw the world as a child and as a poet out in California, not how they actually are. It is a poet’s worldview and I just thought it was interesting how he placed this idea into words and described it. Does anyone else think that Austin Smith explained the idea behind “sacred spaces” well? Or does anyone disagree and think that there is a better description?

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3 Responses to Smith and Sacred Spaces

  1. Kristen Woodside says:

    I definitely agree that he gave a wonderful explanation of sacred spaces! I really liked how he talked about what distance does for writing. I think that there are memories or places from my childhood that I also mythologized. This may be a strange connection, but it reminds me of going back and watching movies from your childhood. Sometimes I’ll watch a movie that I loved as a kid and think, “Oh. That was it?” because as a kid I was always imagining and sort of adding to my experiences.

  2. Evan Johnson says:

    The reason I asked this question was because I didn’t know what defined a sacred space as we call it. I believe his definition was a place that held a kind of power for him. I like this definition. It’s not right or wrong as it is how he sees the world but if I apply this definition to my way of viewing the world I find that it is filled with more places of power than it originally had. It does not matter if other people don’t understand the power of the places in my life as it has definite power over me and thats all that matters.

  3. thequill says:

    I think he explained it well, but I think it’s also possible (and good) to try to think even more deeply about these matters, Maggie. In particular, I think it will be vital to think about whether or not Austin is an “engaged” poet–or does his tendency to mythologize disengage him from his subjects? And then: is it wrong to mythologize? Or does mythologizing create or allow for another kind of engagement? HUGE questions…that we get to do some thinking about together in the next few weeks–!

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