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Tambimuttu on Poetry

Tambimuttu was a Ceylonese poet best known in England and America as a poetry editor. His full name was Meary James Thurairajah Tambimuttu. He was a great champion of poetry and poets, especially Dylan Thomas. Wikipedia says of him: 'Most of Tambimuttu's own works are difficult to access, and his earliest works published before he came to London are lost. His greatest influence was as an editor and publisher, especially during the 1940s.' Here he is writing on poetry in  his editorial/manifesto in the debut issue of Poetry early in 1939. The cover is by Hector Whistler.

FIRST LETTER

  I wish to take my stand and I start by restating a few fundamentals, well-known enough maybe, but which seem to have been lost in the ramifications of modem thought and to need restatement for the purpose of this magazine.

  Every man has poetry within him. Poetry is the awareness of the mind to the universe. It embraces everything in the world.

  Of poetry are born religions, philosophies, the sense of good and evil, the desire to fight diseases and ignorance and the desire to better living conditions for humanity.

Poetry is the connection between matter and mind. Poetry is universal.

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