Thursday, July 26, 2007

Conversation vs. Ritual

As one who enjoys the informal qualities of free verse, but who likes (or at least would like) to employ fixed forms where useful, I like this observation of Miller Williams:

Everything a poet does in a poem has the effect of moving the experience of the poem closer to that of conversation or of ritual. Anglo-Saxon root words, contractions, enjambment, lack of rhyme or slant rhyme or irregular rhyme, all make a poem more conversational; Latin-root words, end-stopped lines, regular and true rhyme, all make the experience of a poem closer to that of ritual.

This in Introspections: American Poets on One of Their Own Poems. An excellent book, by the way.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That's an intersting insight.

I use Miller William's book on poetic forms. It's simple, clear and to-the-point.

A good working guide.