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Thursday, January 10, 2008

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Grain of Salt

I'm not sure I've ever posted a link and called it a day, but there's really nothing to add to this perfect set of field notes on the process of writing, and poetry writing, in particular. It's from the blog of an independent publishing house called Salt, and I was lead to it by way of the online edition of the Guardian.

It was written on my birthday. An apt horoscope.



Blogger Susanne said...

Oooh, thanks for posting this! My husband writes and I'll pass this along.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Geoff Meeker said...

That but of writing was amazing. It inspired me to write two (probably bad) poems right there on the spot (and I haven't written a poem since Grade Ten English). Here they are, just for fun:


Write what you know, they say
Unless it’s poetry
In which case you push yourself naked
Onto the street
To see what happens


If the best poem truly is strange to its author
And not a contrivance
Then who wrote the first one?
And the second?
Was he
Or she
Starkly aware of the moment
Like a mother giving birth
Or did the poem
Seep from the author’s hand
By reverse osmosis
Stretch its legs
And oblivious to all watching, walk away, proud as shit
while its author sat

12:45 PM  
Blogger Julie @ Letter9 said...

Thanks. I even bookmarked it. I particularly liked this:

"Of course poems live in that hinterland between abstract thought and the attrition of narrative, between form and definition, between inception and conceit. They aren’t the white noise of consciousness, or the calamity of fact. They are the bridge. Poems as they happen are dull processes, not boorish, but unsharpened, there’s nothing satisfactory about them until they calcify under the weight of the writer into a structure, and that structure teases out the poem, rather than encasing it."

This feels very true to me. I have some poems whose structure hasn't yet hit me -- poems I've got fourteen drastically different drafts of. I also have poems whose structure hit me first and whose language came later -- these are the easier poems. The simpler poems. The poems I've had published. : )

7:18 PM  

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