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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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Sleeping Women in Movies" by Janet McCann -- Verse Daily 2/12/2014

from The Crone at the Casino (Lamar University Press)
poem found here
 

First lines:
She is sprawled arms akimbo
Yawns and stretches luxuriously

 

exploring a poem (organic form and pop conventionality)

 

Simply, there are some interesting moments in the poem and in what the poem is working to do, and I want to explore.

 

There is between the first two lines a shift from the descriptive to the active, from a view of a still scene to a participating in action, and there is nothing to give the reader a clue as to the coming shift. To me it reads as a clumsiness, something which perhaps is very visible when the lines are brought together within a quote: "She is sprawled arms akimbo / Yawns and stretches luxuriously." What is happeing is the second line is clashing with the syntactic expectation created by the first line, which would read something like this: "She is sprawled arms akimbo / Yawning and stretching luxuriously." As such, it reads to me as an error in the poem.

It happens again at lines 4 and 5: "she is curled on a lush divan / Shrugs off the cat" (instead of "she is curled on a lush divan / Shrugging off the cat"). That it happens twice cues to me it is not a mistake but an attempt at something structural. Amd there is something worth saving in the play of introducing through the static "is" and then developing through motion. Can the felt clumsiness be cured by creating a structure that sets off the latter type of lines as different from the former? For example:

She is sprawled arms akimbo—
      Yawns and stretches luxuriously
      In black and white, tosses a satin pillow
Or she is curled on a lush divan—
      Shrugs off the cat
      Reaches for her cell phone playing Bach

Saturday, February 1, 2014

"Gymnopédia No.3" by Adrian Matejka -- Poetry Daily 01/20/14

from Poetry (Jan. 2014)
poem found here
 

First lines:
The sunlight on snow

This decrescendo

 

reading typography

 

Saw this poem when it was posted and wanted to drop but a very quick comment on a typographical moment within the poem, within the fourth stanza:

the way it always will
at the rock ⅔ of the way down.

I am talking about the use of "&#8532."

All I want to do here is make a comparison and ask a question.

First the comparison, between the two stanzas in poem as posted

 
the way it always will
at the rock &#8532 of the way down.

Stop & shiver in it: the ring
            of snow inside gloves,
            the cusp of red forehead
 

and with the words written out

 
the way it always will
at the rock two-thirds of the way down.

Stop and shiver in it: the ring
            of snow inside gloves,
            the cusp of red forehead
 

What is the difference between the two when I read the lines?