Tuesday, July 19, 2005
What makes poetry work?
Two points struck me: writing in concrete images and asking “what if.” This question leads us on an imaginative journey: What if Hamlet was a quarterback? What if Blanche Du Bois was a checkout girl? What if Elvis isn't dead and lives in Montana? I love to play in speculation. But it should be grounded, giving us concrete images and tangible objects to hold on to. One of my favorite comments about the nature of poetry comes from Marianne Moore: “Poetry is an imaginary garden with real toads in it.”