The Creative Writing program at ODU brings in a visiting writer each semester. This semester it’s Dorianne Laux (who you should definitely read, if you haven’t), and on Thusday she gave her craft lecture titled “The Marriage of Music and Meaning”.
This of course made me go back to my thesis and wonder whether I’m spending too much time in my head dealing with conceptualisms instead of the very real task of making music. Of course, the last poem that got published was written more in attention to sound than anything else: “god, you choke old stones down” has a great music (to me, at least).
Continue reading “After Dorianne Laux’s Craft Talk”
While I haven’t been posting here (or at Poetic Idealism) lately, that’s not to say things haven’t been very busy.
One thing I’m very proud of is the state of the new issue of Barely South Review, which has taken up most of my time these past two weeks. It’s turned out beautifully, with no small thanks to the contributors who sent us wonderful materials to work with, and the staff who put in many long hours.
On the other hand, this workload also means my thesis has taken somewhat of a back seat recently. I’ve written a couple of new things, but still feel about fifteen poems short. These are in me somewhere, and now I have time to go mining for them.
Continue reading “Where are You Going, Where Have I Been?”
For those of you who’ve been following the project here, you know I’ve been writing a lot of poems based around science, and specifically the disciplines of astrophysics and particle physics. They have tended to ask the reader to shift his/her viewpoint and maybe become uncomfortable with the poem. In particular, this stems from the poems’ atheistic / agnostic viewpoint, which is in conflict with the majority of (at least) American sense of order. A lot of them have also been a lot less grounded in the human experience, and more so in the explanation of how I see the universe.
Some may even categorize these poems as Romantic.
Continue reading “Left Turn Approaching”
At the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, a group of us poets decided to challenge each other with writing prompts for the rest of the summer. I’m going to include the prompts and my responses here on the blog, and I invite you to play along. Continue reading “Poem Challenge #1”
– If you have to do a Q&A, be wary of giving high schoolers the inadvertent right wrong idea.
– Mermaids are a deep well of interestingness. Also, fantastic option for the body, image, and the guy nodding in-and-out at the bar.
– Clear articulation of workshop processes is good stuff (also known as pedagogy).
– If you only have a week, don’t expect to get everything done. (personal and educational)
– Everyone is here because they earned it, including me.
– Everyone is full of self-doubt in this profession.
– Australians are everywhere.
– The rule is to avoid politics & religion. But you can’t really in this environment.
– There are lots of books and authors I don’t know about (and the same for you).
It begins, often, as a sort of unspeakable knowingness. The kind of inability to articulate that drives one mad. How to convey the love? For lack of a better word, love stands in for that need. And it is a sort of love, a desire to share. Continue reading “The Raising and Care of Poems – Some Ideas”
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.
– Interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Beyond the Big Bang”, The Universe, The History Channel, 2007
This collection of essays edited by Kurt Brown offers an interesting collection of writers, from those dealing in both poetry and science (Miroslav Holub), to poets intrigued by what science both unveils to and hides from us as people (just about everyone else). I have found a lot of interesting quotes in most of these essays (read here), and a lot that doesn’t quite fit inside the quotation format. Some ephemeral knowledge building that won’t quite fit into language right now.
Continue reading “Some Thoughts on The Measured Word”
The father of Western logic, Socrates, claimed that he had only one real talent: to recognize at once the lover and the beloved…
Maybe the so-called contemporary indifference to poetry is nothing more than dread, dread that poetry is so penetrated by silence.
– “The Nymph Stick Insect”, The Measured Word, 43
…poetry, for all the use it makes of emotion, is the way we come to know the thing itself, the simple undeniable fact of existence, of existence in all its manifold particularity…
– “The Two Cultures”, The Measured Word, 31