Statement of Philosophy

A site for exploration and discussion about verse, poetics, the aesthetic, and creative writing in general.

Because there is a profound difference between writing something to be read and writing something worth reading; and in that difference might beauty be found.



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Friday, March 29, 2013

Three Poems by Ron Smith -- Poetry Daily, 3/27/13

from Its Ghostly Workshop (Southern Messenger Poets)
poem found here
 

First lines:
Our general was elsewhere, but we drowned.
While he rested, he shipped us home

 

the chorus

— reformatted 4/23/14
 

A short thought, spawned by the first poem, "Edgar Poe Tries to Get His Act Together."

I will be honest: on the first read, the poem was failing for me . . . and then came that first chorus. It is a chorus, yes (though a chorus that is linked to the other choruses primarily in form). The poem was, up to that point, in possibly the most exact phrase I can offer, nothing special to me. And then the chorus.

A greatly under-used thing, the chorus. Here, the chorus stanzas fire into the the veins of poem a horse-sized syringe of creative energy: simply in that they offer something for the verses to work against. They offer the poem an otherness. All energy is the flow between different things. (It can be argued that all energy arises in the contrast between opposites: that is a interesting and possibly true thought, but it is a condensation I do not think necessary to the idea of the aesthetic.) This idea is key to any aesthetic endeavor: there must be difference created within the poem for the poem to have energy. It is in creating a complex of difference that a poem develops depth. Very important, that. A work of only one idea is dead on the (writing) table. Thus this poem: is was merely narrative for me . . . . until came the chorus.

So again, give thought to the idea of the chorus. So much they can do. A very underused and under-explored poetic technique. But, then, in these days of arbitrary line breaks and arbitrary stanza breaks, where is there room for something as enriching as a chorus?

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the word I should use is refrain rather than chorus. I'm not sure if I've ever seen anyone make a formal distinction between the two.

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