Wednesday, July 21, 2010


From Fragments of a Broken Poetics
by Jennifer Moxley


What does it matter if there are poets or poems?


In poetry, as elsewhere, nature isn't what it used to be.


The poem resists. It resists coming into being. It resists eloquence.

It resists transmitting unpleasant or embarrassing knowledge.

It resists grammatical constraints. It resists moving away from simple utterance.

It resists revision. It resists completion. It resists success. Hopefully, the poet resists as well.


After a point, even the poem can grow bored with its own devices.


It seems as if the able use of metaphor has precipitously fallen off since doubt was cast upon language's ability to represent the real, and yet simile, a far less interesting trope, somehow continues to thrive.


The idea of audience is a nuisance born of the need for spectacle. Poems haunting the precarious dialectic between existence and extinction do not need it. Their magic is dependent on the private experience of separate individuals.


The poet must understand seduction, because even capricious human attention is susceptible to courtship.


Maggie May said...

i adore metaphor. it was my first great love as a child reader.

Pam Hart said...

I think that most words are metaphors...for images or sounds or gestures...maybe long ago we invented language to communicate that stuff inside us and outside. I live inside metaphors I think on some days.

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Marylinn Kelly said...

What does it matter if there are poets and poems? It came to me night before last that when they have us board the ships that will carry us far from our exhausted planet into some unknown future, I want to be on the rocket with the poets. It doesn't matter where we're going.