homonym and metaphor (4)

November 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm | Posted in poetry, writing | 13 Comments
Tags: , , ,

the drunken cartographer
is lost in his charts
the answer is caught between
his head and his heart, hmm

that’s a little obvious. Poetry is a strange thing, endlessly provocative. It’s a kind of tightrope walk of blatancy and suggestion. Basically all you want to do is imply more in a general direction rather than make a direct statement and it is that art which frees the reader’s imagination and allows them to dress the story in a way that includes them, includes some of their understanding of the world. Structural devices, the mechanics of poetry are deliberate (or instinctive) manipulations of the experience of time. Rhythm and rhyme exist for a reason, without them poetry is kinda pointless.

And it is because time is not linear and poetry allows one to escape at least in part the linearity of language that poetry is in fact the best description of the world available in words. It is a conjuring act.

in silence, morality fails
mortality and urgency
then some steady
hand prevails.


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  1. “the answer is caught between his head and his heart”. Echoes of my wife before she reads one of my poems. Did you write with your head or your heart? Tis definitely a tricky task and you have hit the nail on my head with this Paul. If I do ever manage to break the thrall, I will have your writing to thank for it.

  2. Thanks, Brad. I just wanted to put this note here from Paul Simon, “The song doesn’t make them feel the emotion, it opens the door and allows them to feel it.”
    Oh and, how does poetry become non linear? Through the use of echoes (rhyme and other sonic devices) and metaphor, and somewhere in there might be the fusion of sound and meaning, maybe,

  3. Poetry is indeed endlessly provocative. At least it is from the poets who know their craft well. (insert clapping here)

    But for those writers who are less imaginative, (insert finger pointing towards myself here) poetry tends towards being a bit less suggestive and a bit more blatant.

    I have rarely written anything that enduced puzzlement upon reading … but with you … ahh … reading you creates endless dramas in my head.

    And endless questions …

  4. there sure seems to be a llot of that “thinking” stuff going on about in your head. especially concerning something as trivial as poetry.
    you got some time on your hands, eh?
    that being siad
    I like your poetry

  5. Yes but but but nothing. Your respect for the reader is perhaps overlooked too often. You understand the importance of the partnership between writer and reader that is so rare in this world of ‘self’. Rhyme, rhythm, and all that jazz… but there has to be a touch of magic too, eh Paul? Yep.

  6. Rhythmn is the most important thing, I think.

    Take paradise lost. It’s always said its hard to read visually, but easy to read out loud.

    Because Milton was blind, he dictated it, it really is pure rhythmn.

  7. Well, I am so glad you visited me because your blog is wonderful. What a treat. I agree with your point regarding the importance of rhythm. There is a musicality to poetry that is often lost when it is not read aloud. Crushed is right, the meaning in Milton is enhanced when read aloud. The text is quite visually heavy but the rhythm lightens it. What an enjoyable post!

  8. Well said Paul.

  9. Very astute.

  10. often i spend all day trying to figure out what to say in response to your gems, paul

    like the subtle rhyme of ‘caught’ and ‘heart’

    “in silence, morality fails” so true

  11. i also find poetry an avenue with out any particular dead end. it sources my mind as a writer and hopefully inpsires someone else to think in a new light, with a new light, under a new light, over a new light, ? something like that?

  12. yes, i totally agree… one must have there feet floating free with mind disengaged, letting go of the rope… tho i must disagree with the steady hand engages… it is only by shaking everything loose that we find a treasure waiting in words…

  13. It is genius (I cannot find something smart to say here)…

    i am always going to wonder, it the head won, or was it the heart. ( i have the curiosity of a cat)

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