Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the trick

“The trick naturally is what [Robert] Duncan learned years ago and tried to teach us — not to search for the perfect poem but to let your way of writing of the moment go along its own paths, explore and retreat but never be fully realized (confined) within the boundaries of one poem. . . . There is really no single poem.” —Jack Spicer

I don't totally disagree with what Spicer says:

—his "trick" works for some poets—Frank O'Hara for example—but not for others,

whose trick is "to search for the perfect poem"—Bishop and Mallarme, to name a couple—

Many perhaps most poets sort of dither away between this either-or,

compare the "perfected" poems of Robert Lowell versus his Notebook sonnets . . .


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