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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Sunday, May 5, 2013

"Brief Study of Parades" by Jill Osier -- Verse Daily, 4/25/2013

from Pleiades (Winter, 2013)
poem found here

 

First lines:
1) There must be lifting.
2) There must be so many kinds of shoes.

 

sufficiency of content, and the organic whole

— reformatted 9/30/15

This poem is actually from a couple of weeks back. I wanted to make a comment on it then, but could not quite pin down what it was I wanted to do. But it kept bugging me, and out of nowhere, yesterday, it came to me: I was trying to be too specific, and needed only ask the basic question. So I'm jumping back in time . . . .

This is the question: Is the content of this poem sufficient to the organic whole of the poem?

I am not answering to either side; and, actually, it is that debate that has been going on in my head these past days. And, in the end, the question here is as important as whatever answer you might come up with. So, in a way, the point of this post is really, "Take a moment and consider this question, 'Is the content of this poem sufficient to the organic whole of the poem?,'" and use this poem as your sample text.

Now, to consider: What I am questioning is the relationship between the content of the poem and the poem's unity and self-identity. "Sufficient" does not necessarily mean quality. A poem's content can be sufficient to its making, and still not quite be a successful (or terribly sophisticated) poem. However, being insufficient would definitely mean the poem is unable to achieve what is possible for it to achieve: which is, from the writing standpoint, what is important. Not everything you write can be as good as you want it to be: but you should still be questioning: "Is this as good as it can be?"

It is there that sophistication develops. Not in the writing of a poem, but in seeking how to write the poem as well as it can be written.

So consider this poem, and consider the question: Is the content sufficient to this poem? Is is weakened because there is not enough? Is it weakened because there is a superfluidity of content? Is it the right amount, but its presentation weakens it?

And stop there -- important point, that. In exploring, you are not allowed to change the form. The experiment of this poem is to write a poem with this form, this systemic idea. So when considering content, you are considering how content works within this form, this idea, this presentation.

So explore with this poem. It is a great poem for this particular question -- after all, I have been doing it on and off for a couple of weeks now. But, always recognize, you should also be exploring the question.

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