An episode of This American Life on apologizing a la “This is Just to Say” from class: here (starts at 51:00)
From Alex, Robert Haas’s “Heroic Simile” (He is the 2008 Pulitzer winner)
Please share the poems (and stories and essays, of course) you come across during your writerly wanderings. How about compiling a collaborative list of must-reads for the summer?
Here’s a brief article from the Washington Post about the annual poetry recitation contest at GW University. The quotation from John Barr at the top of page two seems particularly fitting to our discussions last week about how important the sounds of words to our poems.
Feeling frustrated by this poetry business? Centos can really loosen up your creative machinary. A cento (latin for “patchwork) is a collage poem made up entirely (or almost entirely) of lines from other people’s poems. By rearranging or decontextualizing lines from other poems, your task is to create your own poem by stealing from other accomplished artists. As John Donne once said, “All other things to their destruction draw.” Check out the blog Centobingo, created by Breadloaf alum Matt Hart, dedicated to Centos. Or check out my (maddie’s) variation, which is composed entirely of chapter headings from a table of contents: what-difference-a-wing-makes
I found the following in a response written by writer/editor Jennifer Bosveld of Pudding House Publications and felt that it called back to what we’re trying to do . . .
“Poet is my title and the following is my job description:
Spend 100% of my time observing the relationships between all things living and seemingly not,regardless of what else I am doing.
Capture in mid-air those flashes of perception unlike anything I’ve heard out of the mouths or pens of others and get it down before it’s gone.
Go TOO FAR in my assertions that one thing is another and extend those metaphors logically but not traditionally.
Re-color re-measure re-assess re-name re-do the world in language chunks made of words that have never danced together before.
Brave the wild ride of vocabulary that might only speak to a few but those few could build a church or a university on those notions.
Relish being strange, weird. Celebrate wrong answers; sometimes wrong answers reflect the most creative thinking.
Write about everything and all the time but don’t expect anything to be any good just go WOW when it is and then revise.
Revise again. One more time. Several more times. Learn to love revision.”
When asked what her definition of poetry was, she responded “A relatively little space of word art.”