Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I love this line of thought

from Bemsha Swing:

Here are some "angles of approach" that I like to use to describe various kinds of pleasure I get from poetry.

Accent, distinctiveness

Could the poem have been written by anyone, someone else? Does it have a distinctive accent or is it more "generic"? Is its distinctiveness such that it is a self-parody? Are there obvious "mannerisms"?

"The tune of a cold trunk is thin
mute cate behind glass
that I write at all is bannered
in the close grains of sight outlasted" (CC)


Does the poem have a definable shape to it? Is it the right length for what it is? Does it go on too long? Is it a poem or is it "passages" of poetry? How is it at beginning, at carrying on, at ending?

(I have a hard time writing poems with this quality. I don't know how to end a poem, or make it go on for very long, though I am very good at begining.)

nioi, scent

Is it suggestive? (It shouldn't tell or show, but suggest something beyond what the words say.) Does something "catch" on the mind. Or does it use explicit "statement" in an interesting way?


Is it cantabile? Does it sing? Does it sing too much?


Does it break its own rules? Does it make all the rules irrelevant? Is it "disobedient"? (Bernadette Mayer is a good one for this quality.)


Christopher Hennessy said...

Poeminess! I LOVE IT!

Joannie said...

I love the part about suggesting instead of telling or showing. That's what I need to work on. Thank you for putting it in such a clear and lovely way.

Peter said...

CH: glad you like.
JK: thanks, but the ideas are not mine (though I like them): go read more at Bemsha Swing.