Great book of essays about writing poetry with lots of great quotes and practical inspirational details for any poet. I took lots of notes since I'veGreat book of essays about writing poetry with lots of great quotes and practical inspirational details for any poet. I took lots of notes since I've had it from the library and if I come across it 2nd hand will definitely get myself a copy.
The essays that are memoir were engaging perspectives on his experiences growing up in Forest Hills, Queens, NY, an area I am familiar with. He is a different generation so the perspective of power dynamics was intriguing to me to read. He also had a great chapter on gambling and family secrets. I highly recommend this book.
From reading Stephen Dunn’s book on writing poetry, “Walking Light: Essays and Memoirs,” I realized the essential difference in my experience of writing poetry versus fiction. From his chapter, “The Good, the Not So Good,” I quote, “The good poem arises out of necessity or discovers its necessity in the act of composition. Necessity is linked to rhythm. When a poem’s rhythm is off, usually, it’s because the poet has not yet located what is central in his/her subject. Therefore, the most fundamental act of revision is for the poet to locate the poem’s informing principle, its locus of concern.” This helps me understand the differences and similarities between writing fiction and poetry. I have a long history of finding my rhythm in poetry, but in my fiction I’ve felt lost in the bulk of words. ...more
This falls into the same inspiration for me as do books by William Stafford and Stanley Kunitz. Reading these writers who have a deep well of wisdom iThis falls into the same inspiration for me as do books by William Stafford and Stanley Kunitz. Reading these writers who have a deep well of wisdom is inspirational and insightful. He has had such good life experiences, a history of interaction with the greats that he graciously shares in the various chapters of this book. My only regret is that I do not own it. I read it from the library. ...more
An excellent book of essays to read on writing from a Buddhist perspective. There are some good stories and lessons to be found, however, I found it dAn excellent book of essays to read on writing from a Buddhist perspective. There are some good stories and lessons to be found, however, I found it difficult to stay engaged. ...more
I love this book of interviews with Allen Ginsberg. I read it when I took a class focused on reading and writing from his influence. He has much knowlI love this book of interviews with Allen Ginsberg. I read it when I took a class focused on reading and writing from his influence. He has much knowledge and used his interviews to teach. There are many gems in here and lots of his stories, which I loved reading. Ginsberg was around at rallies when I lived in NYC so I feel a kinship to him. ...more
I have internalized his basic concepts, starting with what is in front of you and pulling the threads from the air. I love his approach. I love how heI have internalized his basic concepts, starting with what is in front of you and pulling the threads from the air. I love his approach. I love how he wrote and sent out and wrote more and more, not going back so much as keeping the practice of writing alive.
I'm adding some quotes from the book to this review: "A poem is anything said in such a way or put on the page in such a way as to invite the hearer or reader a certain kind of attention. The kind of attention that is invited will appear—sort of—in what follows." "A writer is not trying for a product, but accepting sequential signals and adjustments toward an always-arriving present." "Writing is a reckless encounter with whatever comes along." "All particulars reflect something, if looked at alertly enough. The job in writing is the repeated encounter with particulars. It maybe that you hit on a succession of particulars that reinforce each other—and in that case you have a poem." "All you have to do is get a little more alert to see that even your best moves are compromises—and complicated. You get some consequences you were aiming for —and some that you weren't." "Multifaceted possibilities of life that a poem might capture if it is successful—" "For me, poetry is not like the jeweler's craft...polishing, polishing, always rubbing it more and more. It's like the exhilaration of getting somewhere. It is like running fast and your elbows and knees may not always be exactly right...but you're really getting somwhere. You can run across a log pond—you know, where they're floating the logs at a sawmill—by stepping on one log at a time. And if you don't step on a given log very long, you can go hopping clear across the pond on the logs. But if you stop on one, it'll sink...sometimes I feel a writer should be like this—that you need your bad poems. You shouldn't inhibit yourself. You need t have your dreams; you need to have your poems. If you begin to keep from dreaming or from trying to write your poems, you could be in trouble. You have to learn to say "Welcome..welcome." Welcome dreams. Welcome poems. And then if somebody says, "I don't like that poem." you; can say, "Well it's my life That poem was in the way, so I wrote it." "Just as we don't choose our dreams—they choose us—I have this feeling that if we can get with ourselves somehow, and let the thing that we're doing at the moment when we are writing unfold, like a dream, with as little guidance as a dream has, it will somehow be, there will be more of ourselves in it than if we have a made a prior comittment to some particular kind of poem or story or novel."
This book is so rich, Stanley Kunitz has lots of wisdom to share in this amazing book of interviews. I savor this book, it is full of underlines (in pThis book is so rich, Stanley Kunitz has lots of wisdom to share in this amazing book of interviews. I savor this book, it is full of underlines (in pencil!). I love his writing about writing more than his poetry and I do like his poetry. ...more
This book had some simple and great inspirational tips to keep one engaged in the writing process. It is an easy read that is helpful to any kind of wThis book had some simple and great inspirational tips to keep one engaged in the writing process. It is an easy read that is helpful to any kind of writer. Anne Lamont grew up with writing parents (or a father at least who wrote) which gives her a base understanding of the difficulties that a writer faces....more
This is an excellent book to study. it starts with the full essay that is an elaboration on the essay published in Poets & Writers sometime in theThis is an excellent book to study. it starts with the full essay that is an elaboration on the essay published in Poets & Writers sometime in the past two year. That was the article that brought me to his writing. It is what I term a 'killer' essay about his life experience. This book covers a wide range of essays that show the depth and breath of his knowledge base in poetry. Losing him so young is sad. The book has four sections: Portrait of the Artist, containing the above mentioned article, Manifestos of a Sort, Readings, and A Poetics.
In the Readings section in a chapter on Four Gay Poets he does an analysis of the work of Aaron Shurin, Tim Dlugos, Donald Britton, and D.A. Powell. Three of these authors were living with AIDS, and the one not living with AIDS wrote an early book on the epidemic that is now out of print: Unbound by Aaron Shurin. Both Tim Dlugos (who died in 1990) and D.A. Powell (alive) have written about their experience of living with AIDS. I am always looking for writers who have been willing to offer their experiences to the public in this way and I knew of D.A. Powell's work but not the other two, so I will now find their books to read like I did by reading Tory Dent's work.
Shepherd quotes all the main poets such as Keats, Stevens, Yates, he uses the philosophers, Plato, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, sprinkled through his book. It is rich and my words don't do justice because I am not as schooled. But, I am indebted to this author for his knowledge. He brings the four tasks that the significant poets must be expected to perform (per Allan Grossman) to light for me: 1. to point out what is significant in the world of common experience; 2. to defeat given expectations with respect to how things are assembled; 3: to make clear how difficult it is to make meaning; 4. and to make clear how interesting the world is. In his own finishing chapter, Why I Write, he says "I don't write a poem and ask, "Is this new?" I ask, "Is this individual, distinctive, unique?" Of course for a poem to be completely unique, for it to have no relationship to anything that's come before, would be for it to not be a poem at all." He has challenged himself to have a body of work that is varied, therefore no book of his is the same. He has not branded himself. This I find admirable and sad because he is now dead. We have a body of work from him and I think he accomplished his goal, but if only he had more good time because I know he was not done with his offerings. ...more
This book of poems was not easy to read, but there is beautiful language and he writes from a deep philosophical place that I know because I've been sThis book of poems was not easy to read, but there is beautiful language and he writes from a deep philosophical place that I know because I've been slowly reading his book Orpheus in the Bronx. This man is schooled in the academic realm of poetry that I don't even want to attempt.
Some lines from the preceding poem in the book which is the title poem, The Angel of Interruptions:
We interrupt this broadcast/to bring you a fatal infinity, the difference between fiction/and a clouded-over sky. We interrupt these lines/to bring you pebbles spilled from an open palm, someone/cleaning out his mind: here are some pockets/filled with salt, useful in case of dehydration. You can't walk through/ the thinghood empty-handed, shirking the knives/of fact. What is destroyed sends you its kisses, the art/of a homelessness. The body is a factory that manufactures salt.
There is much to think about in this poem about homelessness in of Chicago. The predominance of salt is big, black people who lived through the middle passage have altered kidney functions, hence the high incidence of high blood pressure in African Americans. It's a theory that his hard to prove, but it makes sense. Reginald is a gay black man who has felt out of place his whole life. I was first drawn to his work when I read his article in Poets & Writers Magazine in the not too distant past, since that he has died. He was about my same age. I plan to read more of his books, each one he took on a new challenge so he does not have one style.
I loved the essays in this book. She carries forth the rich history of jazz and writing and how they combine. The book is full of history every AmericI loved the essays in this book. She carries forth the rich history of jazz and writing and how they combine. The book is full of history every American should know. She is a scholar, a historian who brings it forth to poetry with jazz as her underbeat....more
I love this book. There is a lot to learn about poetry and to hear how different writers work with poems, think about them, and edit is simply brilliaI love this book. There is a lot to learn about poetry and to hear how different writers work with poems, think about them, and edit is simply brilliant. In so many of the small essays you see the poem start to finish and observe the process of the authors. ...more