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Katlin Profile
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How to Read and Write Poetry


]Editor Michael Schmidt's take on how to read it:

"Editors who are not promoting a movement or a group, when they tear open an envelope or click an email attachment, hope to be surprised by the shape on the page, by syntax, by the unexpected sounds a poem makes, sometimes with old, proven instruments used in new ways. They might hope to find evidence of intelligence. And they respect creative disobedience. Where there are schools they look out for the truants."

Mahmoud Darwish's take on how to write it:

"Don't believe our outlines, forget them,
and begin from your own words.
As if you are the first to write poetry
or the last poet."

Mahmoud Darwish




Last edited by Katlin, Oct/28/2011, 5:46 am
Oct/27/2011, 12:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: How to Write Poetry


This is beautiful, Kat. Thought I saw another
quote last time I looked (?) I like them both,

Chris
Oct/27/2011, 2:06 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: How to Write Poetry


Responding to the twin posts: How to read poetry and how to write it.

As anyone who knows me could figure out, the thought expressed works for me. This is how it should be. Any reader of poetry should come up with her own system, for lack of a better word. Her on criteria for not so much what makes a successful poem but for how to spot it. The difference is key.

From time to time I get taken to task, in my poetry crit, for not being exacting enough. This, as if a poem is simply a matter of mechanical parts assembled to end in the whole. I am exacting all right. So exacting I expect the poet to sweat it out, bruise the brain, anguish over each and every word, line rhythm, metrical and foot quantification. I frankly have no time for the poet who doesn't get that, fundamentally, the production of poetry is a cottage industry, not a factory (workshop) assembly.

Something else I think. Poetry itself is a preconscious activity, a secretion, to borrow from Houseman. That said, in her off hours, weeks, and months the poet should become the reader of poetry. And she should devise her own system, again for lack of a better word, by which she measures the poem. Both her own and that of others. The exercise matures one.

But here is what I really think, and I know I am repeating myself. Here it is a clear case of nature over nurture. Poets are not made, no matter the desire or want. They are born. Same is true of the gifted poetry reader, a type whose likes I've come to increasingly value. Not for selfish reasons. But because I marvel at a capacity, maybe innate, that seems to be so hard wired it has to speak to an instinct. Instinct for what? For poetry. Robert Graves said that, originally, poets belonged to totem clans, leaders in song and dance, ceremonies devoted to, what he called, the True Story, story ensuring the fertile return of the year through participatory magic. I think he was right. Think, also, the gifted poetry reader belongs to the same clan and for the same reason.

Poets have been gnashing their teeth and wringing their hands for as long as I can remember over the fact that the general readership no longer reads poetry. I could care less about how many people read poetry. Think on it. What does a poet have to say to a Wall St investor type, to a German banker agonizing over whether or not to bail out Greece, to the corporate leader, to next year's tyrant, to the oligarch, plutocrat, to the union leader, or to yet another desperate housewife desperately dancing with the stars? Nothing. Poets have nothing to say to such ilk. Reason is simple. What poets and poetry readers value is radically different.

I am good with the situation. If I connect with any member of the clan to which I belong, when a member of the clan connects with me, I am 16 years old again and good to go.

Tere
Oct/27/2011, 5:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: How to Read and Write Poetry


Hi guys, I've combined the two quotes/threads into one, which is how you both remembered and responded to them.
Oct/28/2011, 5:48 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 


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