Saturday, July 09, 2005

From notes I took in class last week

"the more influences you have, the better"

poem arises from act of living -- liminal moment -- not separate from, not expository or at some remove -- writing from the very crisis

Assignment: Find a line in your poems that feels like it has that ring of finality to it -- start from that line & write forward.

"whenever you find yourself playing with lines instead of writing, you're probably in a bad spot"

on line breaks: a real line can't be broken -- has a sense of autonomy, is a miniature poem in itself

"Revise towards strangeness" --Rachel Zucker

"so much of being a poet is like being a mollusk"

stanza = "room" in Italian. Think of poem architecturally -- how you move from one to another -- the feng shui of the poem.

"you never want to introduce anything into a poem that feels like an argument, or a judgement ... the reader will decide against you."

the spider-plant poem (little poems sprout & drop off of it)

punctuation as musical notation -- tension between "stop" mark & continuation of line
colon as aperture
fulcrum -- change in rhythm
systole/diastole

"the title is the priest of the poem -- it stands there & tells you how to behave. I don't believe in titles -- I believe I can step into the poem & talk directly to god."

Creeley: space between lines is a silence in which the heart can break

(after a discussion of the eroticism of doorknobs, bald heads, being caught): "face it, there's something erotic about just being alive ... it's all erotic until you can't do it anymore."

"Poems are written by bodies, they're not written by minds."

Hass: "a good poem contains its opposite"

Sometimes it's good to write more than you need so you have lots of bits and variations from which you pick and choose -- then go thru & maybe highlight the ones you like, the lines that are tonic, have a kind of entity about them -- pull them out & as necessary build bridges between them. "Be willing to honor the plasticity of language."

Try writing a sentence & endlessly subordinate & interrupt & do everything you can to keep from reaching the period.

a poet is a deity with the power of creation -- each created poem is a world -- the poet is then at the beck & call of the world that has been created -- that power & that responsibility to one's own creation -- take care that the worlds are sustainable

compress -- put pressure on -- every part of the poem

"The poem must resist the intelligence almost successfully." --Stevens

the poet is a rat who builds his own maze & then has to find his way out

try using altavista babelfish to generate revision (!)

there's a faith in pushing past the edges -- in saying that things go on

1 comment:

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