Poetics and Poetry Discussion
(6/17/2013 8:46:00 PM)
Wood, the only thing wrong with G8 (on first blush, I read it very quickly) isn't the actual formalism, but its the lilting, trite end rhymes. Even though in Great Britain there's more of a tolerance for it, you're still better off leaving it behind, yet keeping the tightness and concision. If you drop the rhyme and find other words to end your sentences with, G8 will improve in a major way immediately. Obviously you gravitate to meter, which is fine. But you do need to stay away from cliches. Read some formalists who are extremely original and lyrical: John Holland, David Ferry, (Ferry just won the National Book Award this year) Seamus Heaney, Marilyn Hacker, A.E.Stallings, Campbell MacGrath, Harry Clifton - poets who are living and still writing a fresh, contemporary type of formalism. In fact, Heaney and Clifton would be excellent models for you, sharing your sensibilities more so, perhaps, than those American poets I named. Even Carol Ann Duffy, who writes in a very imagistic, musical style (though she takes her slings and arrows for sometimes being 'obvious') would be a solid poet to absorb. Good luck. -LP
(6/17/2013 11:41:00 AM)
David, I read " G8" and didn't like it much. Why imitate 19th-century rhyming verse? The battle against formal verse, especially sing-song formal verse, was lost about 60 years ago. You need to STOP writing and start reading. Whether you want to write contemporary poetry or not, you don't have a choice. If you're serious about writing better poems, immerse yourself in the work of good contemporary poets, like Charles Simic, Philip Levine, Mary Oliver, etc. If you're not serious about writing decent poetry, why bother to post?
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