Thursday, January 28, 2016

A day in the life

of my year of poetry.

Spent a good four hours at the coal face today. Managed to finish to first draft stage an experimental poem, experimental for me at any rate.

I did have an epiphany though, and perhaps a rather obvious one in that I realized that you don't have to put everything in the poem.

That there will be other poems where you might revisit the subject , possibly even better ones and so there's no need to pull out all the stops.  Indeed if you try and squeeze in all the elements you'll end up with a fairly flat poem.

The study portion of the day was devoted to using Nabakov's method for noting scansion.  You can see it in the picture above if you squint.  Now having written in iambs before I had a notion of iambs, spondees, trochee etc and how to identify them.  But I have never really paid that much attention to the effect they have on the line and how good poets can use different application of each to alter rhythm, particular in making the rhythm match what the line is saying.

I'd try and do the scansion here, if I could a) be bothered after 4 hours of poetry and b) could think of an easy way to do it that isn't going to be knocked about by blogger formatting.

As a result the close reading of Clive James' Japanese Maple was really enjoyable.  I really liked the poem when he released it ( I view it as a Death Poem or Jisei) and now I like it even more, because I can see the technical expertise on display.

I also hit an unintentional milestone today, managing to finish my first 160 page notebook.



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