I thought it would be interesting to create a thread where one could share poems one is learning from, be it stylistically, holistically, phonetically, or syntactically, be it imaginative or narrative (compositional) choices.
Below I'm listing (a few) poems I'm currently studying. At the moment, I'm really into different forms of repetition (word, phrase, sentence, stanza, even ideas; and the order in which it comes), the balance between simplicity and clutter in relation to achieving the right amount of processing fluency (due to its correlation with beauty, which again correlates with truth and memorability-- the cornerstones of poetry; I could post some fascinating links on the subject if anyone is interested: it has to do with cognitive biases and shortcuts, and is where rhetorical devices gain their effect from), compositional choices, and how one can balance on a knife's edge between empathy and space on one hand, detachment and "tempo" on the other, to create harmony, contrast or deliberate dissonance between form and meaning (I like to think of it as different ways for the body and soul to reach homeostasis, so to speak).
The numerals does not necessarily signify the best poems, but order them after how much time I invest in them. I'm particularly smitten by James Galvin's (must read!) and Dorianne Laux's poems at the moment.
http://iowareview.org/blog/james-galvin ... can-poetry
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetry ... tail/89715
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems- ... tail/56547
http://www.versedaily.org/2013/lovepoem ... itis.shtml
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetry ... tail/52603
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems- ... tail/56393
http://goodtimesbookshop.com/CDoyle/cdo ... trait.html
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems- ... tail/58276
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems- ... tail/53350
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetry ... tail/89366
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems- ... tail/56390
http://www.nereview.com/vol-36-no-2-201 ... a-bennett/
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetry ... tail/40273
What would people think about creating threads where one shares one's creat"-ion" process? The one sharing would learn from the molecular introspection into his/her own approach, whereas others might catch onto tips, techniques and new "figures of thought" outside their own neural pathways. Sort of like a thread where whoever wants to could start his own "What is Poetry and What Makes it Effective" thesis, and where others can join, ask questions, learn or add novel ideas. If enough people did it, it could be a treasure trove no other site is close to (going far beyond the basics of forms, figures of speech, other literary devices).
I like the idea. I read the Galvin piece because I had him for a semester back in Iowa. One of my favorite poets.
"On the Sadness of Wedding Dresses" is direct. No tricky language, forthright:
On starless, windless nights like this
I can hear the wedding dresses
Weeping in their closets,
Luminescent with hopeless longing,
Like hollow angels.
He builds on this direct opening with another direct and logical statement:
They know they will never be worn again.
Who wants them now,
After their one heroic day in the limelight?
Then comes the surprise and lift:
Yet they glow with desire
In the darkness of closets.
Most turn yellow over time,
Yellow from praying
For the moths to come
And carry them into the sky.
The upward movement culminates in the wonderful closing movement:
The luckiest wedding dresses
Are those of wives
Betrayed by their husbands
A week after the wedding.
They are flung outside the double-wide,
Or the condo in Telluride,
And doused with gasoline.
They ride the candolescent flames,
Just smoke now,
Into a sky full of congratulations.
The music is amazing. And that last line!
So, the poetics: Use of direct statements; some music but not regular or structured (double-wide, Telluride); mystery in the forthright telling; an upward movement (moths, flames, smoke) grounded in the real (destruction by moths, betrayal).