Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Commensurate with experience

Mark Doty, in here--

If I were going to make a general comment about the work of my students, the work of developing poets that I read in literary magazines, I think that many poets tend to quit too soon. I don't mean that I think they should all be writing long poems, by any means, but I think that poems by developing poets often try to arrive at an epiphany, a resonant statement, and then get the hell out there before opening too many doors of complexity, before allowing a satisfying degree of complication to enter into the poem. It's completely understandable why we do that. Complication is messy. It challenges our craft. The more kinds of conflicting emotions on the table in a poem, the harder time we're going to have marshaling them toward any kind of coherence. But I find that preferable to settling for an easy unity. A poem that is too much a simplification, that creates a kind of false order, is not going to be able to feel commensurate with experience, will not be able to hold enough of what it is to live. 

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