Poetry and Its Disenchantments

Poetry is an evocation, a metaphor, a simple simile – a distillation – there you have it – much better word – of something that prose takes an exponential increase of words to relay.

With this in mind, I once tried to convince a professor that the ten-page paper he required once a week could perhaps be served just as well in a one-page poem. I have been cursed with unimaginative teachers – that is, with teachers unwilling to enter the world of my imagination. Read more about Poetry and Its Disenchantments


How Do You Mean A Poem?

A Facebook entry the other day by a friend reminded me of an old friend of a book, John Ciardi's [amazon 0395186056 inline] .

"A poem is to be experienced, not simply interpreted. Unlike prose, a poem is primarily a performance."

And the best way I have found to experience a poem is to read it aloud, for the taste of the words in your mouth. Read more about How Do You Mean A Poem?


The Eyes Have It

"The eye is an organ of information processing
firmly connected to -
anatomically speaking -
the brain." Steven Pinker, [amazon 0393318486 inline] , reimagined as a poem.

"The eye is the most autonomous of our organs...
because the objects of its attention are inevitably
situated on the outside.

beauty is where the eye rests

a tear is an acknowledgement
of the retina's...failure to retain beauty Read more about The Eyes Have It


Grass Grown

About 40 years ago I lived on an 80 acre farm in Door County, Wisconsin. It was the only time in my life that I wrote poetry. At least, the only time that I wrote poetry almost all the time. When I wrote at all. Milking goats and weeding gardens take up a lot of time.

It was a beautiful time and, as I worked around the farm, bits and pieces of poems came to me. When I was lucky, I would remember them later and write them down. Some were inspired by the land, some by friends, some by family. A few expressed unfulfilled longings of my own. Read more about Grass Grown