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I like things like prosody, grammar, and music theory because I like to look at how things work as systems.  I guess literary too, but not a...

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Anyway, this diary of poems I am writing was inspired by Haryette Mullen's Urban Tumbleweed, though I anticipate that what it will express has nothing to do with that admirable book. The idea is a simple one: to simply write down short poem-like things as they occur to me throughout the year, then select those I think are meaningful to me at the end. They can be snippets of a translation, or whatever. It might not last all year, because attention span.

For me, worrying about whether I am a good poet is counter-productive. In the first place, it's not for me to say, or for anyone to say about their own work. Let's just say there is a high probability of error, because few poets are any good. It doesn't improve your work to think about that too much, anyway. It's a kind of egotistical game. Of course, deep down I know I am a better poet than a lot of people who think they are ok writers. And here I am doing the exact thing I've said is useless: thinking about that at all.


Leslie said...

Angola 4 PM

Orig. (what I wrote to someone): Wives but especially parents laughing brightly, keeping a stiff upper lip as they leave. Then, that somber drive home.

Version 1 (after having been informed it was a poem):

Wives, but especially parents laughing brightly,
keeping a stiff upper lip as they leave.
Then that somber drive home.

I could enjamb it but that is so precious, imitative, derivative.

(Angola is LSP-Angola.)

Jonathan said...

You're right that enjambment would be an amateurish move there. With found fragments that's a cliché. The way it unfolds is already perfect without that redundant emphasis.