Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Articulating a Manifesto (part 2)

But is ‘want’ the exact word? Or do I need to write poetry? Or rather, do I need to articulate that inarticulate speech, for some personal pursuit of understanding, some never-ending chase for elusive insight, and poetry happens to be the way I found to do so, for better of worse, done well or imperfectly—so that the necessity here for me is the pursuit of understanding the inexpressible by attempting to express it after all (whew!).

It is not, for me, a political practice or a social act. Neither is it some defense of an ancestral ideal of form. Nor is it stand-up comedy or one man drama. Rather it is my awkward quest for transcendence. Serious stuff no doubt—whether done gravely or with wit.

(to be continued)


Anonymous said...

I always love reading this kind of thing for the stimulation it provides me in my own thinking about the same issues. It's hard for me to articulate unequivocally what poems should NOT be... sometimes they are stand-up comedy-- and that can be a good thing-- and I am coming around more and more to a vague feeling that Josh Corey is onto something that I agree with in terms of the structure of poems and justice, which is essentially political. I don't know what to do about the idea of narrative, but I still like poems that *tell* me something, while not being *just* stories, and I am growing quite a taste for poems that straddle the border between providing a narrative and just stimulating one... chris l

aum dada said...


Just to be clear, I am not stating what poems should NOT be. I am only trying to figure out what MY poems should be (or are?). Moreso than ever I believe in the varied lands of poetry.