Monday, July 17, 2006
P-town: Day 2 at FAWC
Today was our first day of workshopping with the poet Vijay Seshadri. Read his work here and here. A few points Seshadri brought about about poetry:
--A poem is not a represenation of an idea; it is a "dramatic act"
--The meter, rhythm, and voice of a poem is determined by a poet's own physiology
--The tension inherent in a poem's structure is created by the horizontal nature of the line, since the experience of prose text is primarily vertical
I am not stating these as truisms, only as ideas Seshadri brought up. I find them fascinating and wonderful starting places for discussions about the quality and funtion of poetry. What do you think?
Although I have generally viewed poetry as artifice, as a medium through which to communicate emotion, ideas, and experience, I also, in the process of writing, have been greatly moved; so I must admit that there is a "dramatic act" going on. I cannot, however, pass on that experience unfiltered to the reader. I can only offer the poem, and the poem itself is not the experience.
Let's remember that this kind of discussion is abstract, although fascinating. The most important thing is that we read and write poetry, no matter how we define those processes.
Before I go: a plug for Cicchetti's Espresso bar at 353 Commercial Street in P-town. The best espresso in town, easily. Yummy treats, friendly service, consistently great espresso.