Portrait of the Artist as a Man
August 23, 2015

so much depends upon

So much depends


a full red


carving fat


from useful


I used to want poetry to be enormous, euphonic, entities dripping with imagery. Just full of words like Byron or Shakespeare or Eliot.

The way in which I write has changed so much in the last few years that I’m sort of confused, sort of _be_mused by it. I have become ruthless with editing. It may take an attempt or two to notice a stanza should be deleted or a comma added but I try to pair downeverything as far as possible.

I used to hate stark poetry. Poems like William Carlos Williams’ The Red Wheelbarrow drove me batty.

How can something so bare mean so much?

And I find myself trying desperately to emulate this directness in writing more and more.

I think I understand why, maybe a little. Fewer words, less imagery, and simpler sentences offer less room for error in communicating a poem’s intent while allowing more room for the reader’s interpretation.

Simpler structure begets greater accessibility begets more meaning.


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