Thursday, October 4, 2012


Poetry based on description (image) rather than theme... worked with condensing image to capture the energy behind an ordinary object, a scene, or how we see a scene, or meta-poem opened up new ways of writing.
I'm enjoying Al Filreis' course, and today shared what I learned about the imagists.

At the same time, writing a highly personal poem filled with emotion, perhaps spiced by vernacular speech has a ring of truth that the "cerebral" mind-set of imagism discards for a spare, hard and clear language.

Emily Dickinson would say, self is nomadic, each poem containing several selves,
but what is this self?

And how does one bring a personal experience to a universal level?

I enjoyed meeting with Borderliners today, all 10 of us present to share poems and I had offered to give a 10 minute presentation on Imagism based on what I have learned from Filreis and using some of his examples:
Sea Rose by H.D.
The Encounter by Ezra Pound
Grandfather (advised me) by Lorine Niedecker

Imagine now, the shared 10 minutes,

4.5 minutes: H.D.: people read "Sea Rose". I presented semantics of sound, as in "stint of petals"
or "drip such acrid fragrance"; the multiple correspondences; the way the rose is not a cliche in multiple, overused bathrobes, but an autobiography of style; motion vs. stasis, a spotlight on negative adjectives, the anaphor coupled with passive verbs:
you are caught; you are flung; you are lifted...with a cubist effect. Concrete image with invigorated language... energized. How the form condenses in the final stanza.

2.5 minutes: Ezra Pound: people read "The Encounter". Showed me the handshake and shared how it feels. a five line story, I, incapable of doing; She daring. Irony of "new" morality and "talking the talk" which is as empty as the "old".

3 minutes: Lorinne Niedecker: people read. pointed out syllable count of each line, how no line exceeds 4 syllables, so the pigden English 2nd stanza line 2 cannot have an article, possessive or even "this". How the layout of the poem is not condensed, but filled with white space and no period at the end -- a lifework of the creative process, so different from the stacked 3 syllable sound of Grandfather's advice. Lorine's 3 syllable work "and condense" is what she continues to learn.

I made up a little quiz on Ezra Pound: shared Filreis' comments on "In a station of the Metro"
there is no cause and effect but the immediacy of pink spots of beauty on black.

Do check out this Modern Contemporary Poetry course! I've enjoyed immensely the two writing assignments so far, the quizzes, the sense of participating in the videos.
30,000 people are involved, which is staggering, and yet not.

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