Tuesday, July 19, 2005

to chew on...

The moment of change is the only poem. [Adrienne Rich]

The thing that is broken has particular authority over the act of change. [Louise Gluck]

I trust language maybe a little too much. But it seems safer than some other things I've trusted in my life.

I was going to say "it all ties together somehow" but I think the point these days is that it doesn't. Or doesn't have to.

Simultaneously longing for & resisting closure in my work. That's the point of it right now, I think, or the goal.

Headache. Goodnight.

3 comments:

jenni said...

I like poems with closure and without it. It really depends upon the poem. Sometimes i wish certain poems had more closure and other poems had less. I trust a poet who always has closure about as much as i trust a poet who never has closure. resisting anything in your work, especially if the impulse is strong can be both good and bad i think. i mean, some poet-teachers will tell you to resist what you are good at in order to develop more in other areas, but what if someone had told this to emily dickinsion? "No, no emily, no more poems about death. no more slant rhymes. no more tidy aphoristic endings. try an epic or narrative poem."

hrmmm...

Anne said...

Jenni - true, all that. I think what I do sometimes, though, is take the shortcut out of my poems: "Hey, if I write this neat little couplet or this nice image, that'll wrap it up nicely" -- and I'll end up with something that sounds pretty but fails to go as deep or work as hard as it should. I think if you're always looking for the way *out* as you're writing, you often fail to go far enough *in* ... does that make any sense?

jenni said...

oh definately, it makes sense. i revise endings the most for that very reason. i think there's this sort of human thought process that comes with the 'close'--us being creatures who can think outside the present moment and anticipate, reflect. we have expectations about endings before we even get there. and this goes beyond poetry, i have an expectation when i go get the mailbox, i have a sense of closure in anticipating and fullfilling that activity. so our brains are somewhat wired (nature or nurture or both?) for some type of closure--you see it all the time in social rituals--funerals, retirement, rites of passage. i think the perfect "closure" is one that imitates nature--in that it is not closure at all, but both a closing and an opening, an ending and a beginning. sorry to ramble!