I woke this morning surprisingly stable relative to the previous evening’s taxation. A quick cappuccino at Joe’s before heading up the stairs for Rick’s lecture. There was a small but eclectic group there. Didn’t see some I would have expected, and was surprised at others who did make it.
To follow are my notes from his lecture, and noting that “lecture” sounds far too formal for the relaxed time spent in the Prowl.
Poetic utterance versus oral speech. We confuse language as being informational… Verbal utterance as being only a vessel into which we pour information.
“Poetry is what gets lost in translation”.
We take in the world in stereo, with both head and heart. Our culture tends to denigrate the emotional. Epiphanic. Art to bring emotion to focus via emotional intelligence.
“Poetry is a device designed to go off in your head [or heart].”
Poetry is like a violin—you’ll get better with practice. Directed practice is better than random.
“The soul is chained to a dying animal.”
Three methods to get at this animal:
- Phanopia-Fantasy, an image through the eye, metaphor and image
- Melopia-through the ear, meter and rhyme
- Logopia-through the effects of language which have tonal consequence, linguistics
Any appeal to the sensorial is an image.
Robert Frost’s aspiration: “to put a few poems where they are difficult to dislodge”
Keats, once thought it was “archaic diction”.
“Keep your pencil on the city and describe what you see.”
Trust the image (to evoke emotion).Catch your mind in the act of attention. Make note of it. A moment of arrested attention.The abstracts which you feel looking at the rose petal crushed into the cobble is more important. Don’t look for meaning. Record what you notice. When you write you find your feelings. Don’t write to express your feelings.
“If I had a camera to protect myself from the experience…” get out from behind the camera.
Something, an image, which has meaning ruins the poem, makes it cliché. Don’t paint the perfect picture full of meaning. Just write what you see. Let the reader ascribve meaning.
[Poetry is (?)] emotion recollected in tranquility. Maintain negative capability – don’t judge, it is your job just to receive [the image].
Poetry and prose: the difference is line breaks. Prose proceeds, verse reverses.
Suggested reading: The Rattlebag, an anthropology.
Leather soles on the marble stairs
The souls softer by the dust and
Grit of the cobbled streets
Slapping of flops and flipping