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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

I’m going to be published in Ithaca College’s Stillwater.

And it feels damn good.

What is ironic, however, is that I am having a poem published when I don’t really consider myself a poet. This led to my reassessment of what I have had published in the past — only to realize the bulk of my published work is in poetry.

I aspire to be a fiction writer, and yet my greatest successes have come from poetry. Is this merely a logistical truth[1], or some sort of hilarious irony by the cosmos?

I promise I’m not complaining — but I am reevaluating my past work and my future. I don’t think of myself as a poet; hell, I rarely even write poetry for my personal enjoyment. But when I do write that one, good poem…it feels good. Real good.
And it feels even better to have others recognize that it is good.

For anyone in the New York Tompkins County area, this evening there will be a release party for Stillwater, as well as the winners of the Writing Department’s Writing Contest here on the Ithaca College campus! It will be at 6pm in the Handwerker Gallery, and I am told there will be refreshments. Who isn’t excited about the possibility of free food and drink?

1. Poetry has more opportunities for publications because literary magazines can put ten or fifteen poems whereas can only hold two or three pieces of prose.

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In Pre-Dawn Revelations, I contemplated my own practices when I get into the groove of writing and tried to make it more general. Primarily I played with form, blurring the line between poetry and prose. Unfortunately, due to my limitations the form-play did not translate well. I think as a stand alone piece, though, it is still amusing.

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Not a Poet

I’m not a poet, and I know it.

Poetry is one of those fickle beasts of literature. There’s a thousand and one different methods of writing a poem, and then a google more topics. (But you forgot google was a real number, huh?) It’s a flexible art form that can capture reality and dreams with perhaps more precision than visual art at times.

The texture and flow of the words, the shape of the poem, the rhythm of the syllables as they fall from your tongue, all create a surreal experience in which you immerse yourself in the world or event of the poem.

I am not gifted with this talent. I can work hard and chisel out a decent poem, sure, but I am not a poet. Poets are cousins of the novelist, but when it comes to word economy and imagery, they come out on top. What’s interesting is that novelists and poets each lament their own art form and long for the other. In reality, the two literary forms mirror one another.

Poet Thinking

Without a plot, a premise, or a designated voice, a poem would be flat. Dead. It heavily focuses on words and images in order to move along a particular plot or idea, just as a novelist does with a book-length piece. And as for the novelist, without flow, movement, or strong imagery, the story will become stale and tasteless. Prose needs to be poetic, and poetry needs to story-tell.

It’s good for poets to try stories, and novelists to try poetry. In the end, it can only improve one’s natural affinity for either art form.

But I sure as hell am not going to become a poet anytime soon — and wouldn’t want any poets to suddenly become novelists, either.

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