Went to a used bookstore today. I can’t seem to stay away. Almost always overwhelmed by boring poetry section. Then again in the last few weeks I did pick up:
Nice to See You (Homage to Ted Berrigan) $2
The Dada Market (anthology) $4
Routine Distortions (Kenward Elmslie) $5
Mercurochrome (Wanda Coleman) $5
Charles Simic (Selected Poems) $6
Numen (Cole Swenson) $3
The shepherd, The Hunter (selected poems of Tomaz Salamun)
So, I guess sometimes a good find happens.
I read so much theory for my MA comps I find it hard to pick up a theory book now. Don’t know if it will pass. Didn’t read any theory for two years while finishing my MFA. Got a lot more writing done. A lot more. Maybe it’s internalized.
Someone’s blog (sorry after a while blogs run together) mentioned the good fumes from decaying langauge poetry. Are we also enjoying the good fumes of surrealism and DADA poetry? Or, (i.e. the Fence debate a while back) are we misappropriating? Decontextualizing etc.
I am teaching a class in Irish literature in the spring. I keep looking for other poets from my homeland who are not elegiac etc. Surrealist Irish poet? I do enjoy Matthew Sweeney.
A lot of Irish love Billy Collins. That’s the latest innovation. Easy going poetry and confessional poetry (Rita Ann Higgins). Salmon poetry is so stuck in the past. So much Romantic nature poetry. Irish poetry is stuck. Poetry Ireland Review only publishes the poetry of limited perception. Quiet voices. The weight of tradition. The weight of history.
Paul Muldoon may be an exception and Randoph Healey, Joyce (honey press etc.)
Implied narrative. Everything has an implied narrative. That’s what I hear. Some narratives are more implied than others. How do implied narratives within lyric poetry work differently than linear, straightforward narratives. Subjectivity?
The energy of image. Image is static. Does not move much outside the poem. How to light up images, make them move. Rhetoric, a tad. Or perhaps moving image into metaphor. Details into figuration. But slippery pile-ups of images meant to resist the intelligence sometimes “work” and sometimes seem not to “work.” “work” can’t be all relative, although much of it certainly must be. Maybe dramatic situation (implied narrative) can aid the slippery pile up images meant to resist the intelligence. Maybe narrative in a straight way is one tiny slice of reality and the backlash against it is a freeing of another reality seriously neglected.
“That’s silly. ”
That’s what I hear from many people who read Nice Hat Thanks or some Fence poets. First, who says it’s easy. Second, if it’s easy what does that have to do with whether or not it’s good. Good, not best, good is different than best. Best never exists, only good. I hear defenders of clarity ringing and they say clarity is a reaction against political doublespeak. Stephen Dunn and Billy Collins are clear cutting the language.
Language, language, language.
Who said if ain’t a pleasure it ain’t a poem?
“Images are not ideas, they are stiller than that, with less implication outside themselves.”
A t.v. show called “Jim’ll Fix It.” Boys and girls wrote letters to Jim explaining their fantasies like drinking a fresh bottle of milk while riding upside down in a roller coaster. Other winners included eating forty different kinds of cheese at a factory in the midlands and singing with the whales in the Baltic Sea.
We always want to break out.