Friday, October 3, 2008

For Laurence

...poetry doesn't have to rhyme. I've been influenced a lot by W.C.W. lately and want to share this with you. A classic, but one of my all-time favorites.

This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

You say that you have trouble grasping poetry, but it's not all that different from prose. And poetry is not something that you "grasp." Instead, let it grasp you. Surrender the control and see what happens. That's the vulnerability with poetry, you have to tap into your mind's inner workings to confront memories and realities that you've tried so hard to shut away. I'm not sure if you're at all familiar with Anaïs Nin, but she said, "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say."

P.S. Thank you for that text message, it means a lot to me.


  1. Aw, I really wasn't expecting this! As a return, I'm gonna have to do a photo shoot with just you one of these days =)

    I think what I'm having the most trouble with poetry is its lack of structure (though you would probably argue that poems don't have to have structure)=p

    My training in poetry is minimal to say the least, and what you're showing me is a bit counter intuitive from what I've learned. The open verse that's interrupted by line breaks, the rhythm and syncopation that's broken or the stream of conscious thought that's barred by the aside of a tangential thought often throws me into loops. However, I do enjoy the aesthetics.

    From reading your poems, I can sometimes get an overall feel of what they're trying to say along with the mood that they're conveying. I try to project the imagery that you're presenting, and when I'm actually successful, I can really immerse myself in what you're trying to say!

  2. Well I wasn't expecting your text message! Honestly, poetry is different for everyone who writes, the hard part is making it your own. I'm afraid all the advice I'm able to give you is beginning to sound cliche. As you can obviously tell, I always write in free verse because that's simply the way my mind projects thoughts. I'm glad you try to envision the images I present in my poetry, I'm sure if we had a discussion about it we'd have completely different views. If you want to increase your training in poetry all you have to do is keep writing. Everyday. I should show you some of my early stuff, it's ridiculous, but still my thoughts...just not as in tune with myself as I am now.