Attention: Thomas A. Clark and Simone Weil

Simone Kotva read

This essay studies the connection between attention and redemption in the poetry of Thomas A. Clark. It discusses the possibility of using Simone Weil’s religious philosophy to interpret Clark’s understanding of attention as ‘waiting’. It argues that while there are affinities between Clark and Weil, Clark’s poetic practice also reveals a resistance to the ascetic extremes which attention assumes in Weil’s philosophy. To think through the difference between attention as method and style, the essay then draws on the failures of Descartes’ Meditations in order to argue that only a practical, that is to say, stylistic, engagement with attention will allow for the radical attention that Weil sought but could not achieve.

Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1–16, and American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 84, No. 3.

“Spiritual Waiting in the Theology of Simone Weil”

Diogenes Allen