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.”

2 comments:

Rebekah said...

"Poetry is an imaginary garden with real toads in it.”

Oooo... I like that, all the images, and thoughts associated with that line.

"Concrete and tangible"... why is that so hard for my young writers to grasp at times.

What is it that makes some of us love the quest for the perfect word, and others feel like it's a waste of time? Everyone prefers reading the more detailed writing; why don't we all prefer writing it?

Priya said...

y'know, the best thing about your imagination is that there are absolutely no boundaries and infinite possiblities, which make it a rich experience in itself.