Wednesday, December 08, 2004

...some of my POETRY for a change...

Had a most enjoyable weekend by the standards of anyone living on this planet. Read lots of marvellous poetry (still mostly out of How Does a Poem Mean), made some significant revisions to my own work, wined/dined at a Japanese restaurant, made love, participated in an excellent Kosen Rufu Gongyo (does anyone out there know what that is?) saw some very engaging contemporary dance (Pierre Lecours & co. at L'Agora de la Dance). I also spent a number of the wee hours setting up a couple of "sub-blogs" for my poetry, one called "Sky of Ink", a sampling of short, previously published poems, and another, "Jonah", a longish poem from my first book.

When I started this blog, I thought I'd have everything here - journals, musings, rough drafts, what I called the raw sourced and the unsourced (whatever that means). But whenever I visited other poet blogs, I found nothing could make my eyes glaze over more quickly than being faced with unpublished poems and drafts. I actually don't appreciate having that kind of demand made on me au hazard. But if my curiosity is piqued… if the expectation is there… well, gladly.

Sky of Ink includes a few poems/prose poems in the third person from what I called my "Tiny Man" series. Jonah meanwhile is a monster of a poem from a monster series of dramatic monologues of early Old Testament characters. I've long since lost my desire - and probably ability -- to write in that mode, but… those OT poems are still as much a part of me as my right arm. They reflect a long difficult period that I consider the dark background of my present happiness. And, they impress me still.

Jonah was, in early drafts, cast in a kind of iambic pentameter, but there were too many enjambments for my liking … I found I was counting syllables to no obvious advantage, except to look "respectable". Like Browning or Milton. Yuck! More natural it was - and more in keeping with the spirit of those ancient OT personages, it seemed to me, to take a projective approach, as suggested by Olson in his benchmark essay "Projective Verse" (to be found in The New American Poetry edited by Donald Allen, Grove Press, 1960) - not page as visual field so much as reflection of the breath of the poet. I recorded several readings with a reasonably sensitive mike, and from the best of those, made the line breaks where I made in-breaths or dramatic pauses. Too bad the blogspot protocal breaks up the longer lines in the wrong places. Eventually I will have this on my own website, when it's functional and revamped.

My girlfriend quite likes the Sky of Ink site. She told me it looks like Christmas tree. (She still thinks I spend too much time on the net…)

No comments: