Friday, September 25, 2009

Exploration vs Construction

My recent posts have been easy to misinterpret. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback via email (though not many comments made through blogspot to the posts) but I want to clarify that I think the work of people like Ashbery and Octavio Paz and Rimbaud and newer poets like Klassnik and Aase Berg can be powerfully moving and stand on their own. (I'm sure they will all be relieved.)

But much of the value of Ashbery and his heirs, for my purposes, is the exploration they do, which can be used, even mined, to build bigger structures. To create cohesive works that hang together, convey ideas beyond the atomic, simplest unit, and open the language to freshness and invention. I don’t think I necessarily accomplish that in all my stuff. The poem of mine I’ve linked to on the right is not really indicative of the main body of my work, which I haven’t sent out very much.

A poet I used to like and really can’t read now (Merrill) said that prose doesn’t aspire to poetry, but poetry to prose. That makes sense to me.

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