Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Thoughts on Poetry

One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves.—W. H. Auden

Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.—Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand.—Plato

Like a piece of ice on a hot stove, the poem must ride on its melting.—Robert Frost

11 comments:

Ghost Particle said...

a poet tells of the essense of life viewed from his concious overtures.

anonymous julie said...

Auden is wise.

dumbdodi said...

A poet frees himself through writing and then is able move on to a next thought, next emotion, next object.

Rob said...

I really like that Shelley quote! (Incidentally like Auden Shelley spent time here in Oxford).

I heard one poet say that the difference between prose and poetry is that with the latter there is more space left on the page!

This might tie in with the fact that, in music, less notes often lead to a more magical effect.

Don Iannone said...

Yes indeed Ghost Particle. The conscious life! Let it move through you and vibrate its way through your being.

Anonymous Julie...Auden is indeed wise, and a favorite of mine as well.

Dumbdodi..writing, and poetry in particular, is a liberating experience. So long as the writer does not become obsessed with perfection. For then, he or she has created a barrier disallowing creativity to flow through him of her. Or so I've found.

Rob...yes, less is more, and I have always thought of poetry the same way. I write many long articles, reports, book chapters in my work--I'm sure at times my clients wish I would just give them a poem. LOL

floots said...

i think it was dylan thomas who described poetry as "prose with blood pressure" :)

Don Iannone said...

Floots...I like that! Had not heard that one, but it feels just about right. Thanks.

Imemine said...

Thanks for the pointers.

Don Iannone said...

You're welcome Imemine.

Rachel said...

Donald Hall wrote that poetry is "the unsayable said." The poet is attempting to add “the secret (unsayable) room of feeling and tone to the sayable story.”
and
"Anything that can be thoroughly said in prose might as well be said in prose. . . . Poems tell stories; poems recount ideas; but poems embody feeling."

Don Iannone said...

Rachel...thanks for shariing these Donald Hall (one of my favorites) thoughts. So true. The secret room of feeling and tone...Yes!

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