Sunday, May 29, 2005

Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs. Picasso

When I try to explain abstract art to my students I tell them to empty themselves, to enter the gallery, close their eyes. It is then you begin to see the structure, the order. I had this interesting discussion with Collins about order, granted over tequila but how what existed in formal poetry allowed the reader to trust the poem. When your reader trusts, you can take them anywhere.

So what of modern poetry? Well there are internal rhythms sounds, line length, what exists is an order formed by each artist and the ones that do it well, in my opinion are the ones who allow you to trust them.

Yes, sometimes it is a bit like measuring her limbs and though I understand it is there, I don’t always want to know about it. I have never written a good poem by thinking about it nor have I ever been moved by a poem by feeling it was “made” that way. Always there is an issue, of trusting myself as reader, writer and allowing the chaos to take over.

Chaos and structure hold hands. One cannot exist without the other. One cannot have love in this world and not know how closely they are intertwined but I suppose that is another entry.

1 comment:

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