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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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Time For a Pause


six months in: a need to step back, and Robinson Jeffers


I've made brief mention previously on how I've been having difficulty posting to this blog. Yes, the disruptions in my routines these last weeks have had no small effect. But, really, the core of it is that far too many irons were being set into the fire and far too few were being taken out and put to bed. Which is very often a sign that there is an iron that is not in the fire that should be: in this case, a major project that his been sitting in the prep station for months now. And I have a strong feeling my unconscious has rather gotten fed up with waiting on me and has brought about this psychical log jam to force the issue.

So, even though I have been giving time to trying to put to bed the smaller projects (the stack of books next to the bed has decreased significantly), it's time to face facts and dedicate myself to the work necessary to the major project. (Actually, there are two, but one is more for fun so it's a "major side project" in truth.) Once I that going (and eliminate a few more of the minor irons) I'll start back up on my smaller projects, like this blog, and the essay on pop-poetics. (Actually, it is my intent to get that essay done sooner than later: it has become a focus of contemplation, and the notes are now stacking up far beyond any possible pragmatic use.) Also, possibly, I am considering explore expanding the purview of the blog to include things I've been reading. (Though, without changing the general format. But I'm not sure on this.)

So, give me some time to bring get my desk in order, and I'll be back. I've a pile of things to write about, both for here and for my main site. (I'll probably drop a post here and there, but don't expect my past level of output at least until I get through this period of unavoidable external distruptions.)


To give you something to think about: I've been looking back at Robinson Jeffers's work, which, if you've never encountered it, is a must. He is, arguably, the greatest narrative poet (non-comedic) of the last century. And, as with all really strong poets, he had a firm grip on his aesthetic philosophy. (Take a look at his poems "Aesthetics" and "The Beauty of Things" for a view, and his introduction to his 1938 "Selected" for a prose discussion. The 1938 can be found on the Internet Archive, here.) The mythic aspect of his subject matter is, for me, key to much of it, if you can understand how that mythic aspect functions with his aesthetics of the physical.

But he is very worth examining also for his poetics, particularly with his long poems, which use line length as means of controlling the tempo of the reading. (I can't say I've seen the like elsewhere -- someone else might have examples.) Very worth reading -- not only to ponder, but also because it is quite an experience.


  1. just posted a bit from Jeffers' preface to his Selected Poems on my quotes blog, Conjectures at Random.

    1. Now that I'm on laptop and not fighting ipad incompetencies, let me give a direct link:


  2. It's a good quotation. Jeffers's insisntence of focusing on . . . . we'll use that word "permanent" things does carry some . . . insistance.

    Let me

    Though, I do also love the one a couple below:

    Don't think any intelligent person is going to be deceived when you try to shirk all the difficulties of the unspeakably difficult art of good prose by chopping your composition into line lengths.

    —Ezra Pound, "A Retrospect" (1918)