Old Moon

Monday, July 18, 2011

Poetry vs. Prose, or Poetry & Prose?

I keep up with the blog,  How a Poem Happens. The  questions after each example are great for a tyro like me because without dissecting the poem, they stimulate ideas about how to make a poem happen. Writing poetry is for me not really like writing anything else for a couple of reasons, the first of which is that I've found a poem is in some way organic, as opposed to the manufactured quality of good prose. It really is like a happening, if the result ends up seeming satisfactory.

A second reason is that the impetus for a poem comes from a layer somewhere probably on the right side of the brain instead of the rational left. That's definitely not an original idea--just a statement of how it is. A poem does, at some point in its development, require plenty of input from that same left side, though, if it is to grow into even a free form that entitles it to be more than a kind of automatic writing.

I do find myself resentful, though, when I read much of today's academically admired poems that seem to be created for the express purpose of offering insoluble puzzles to its readers, as if one must be part of some elect aristocracy of art to decipher them.

The attraction of these contrasts is maybe the best thing about poetry.

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