How Poetry Means: Part two of Lesson 15 Write it! How to Get Started.
I'll break down reading poetry and help you infuse your prose with imagery and rhythm
Before we discuss Gerard Manley Hopkins and Amy Clampitt with two of their poems in my “Get Ready” Lesson, let’s look at this messy issue: What is the message of a poem or short story?
In the Rorschach experiment in the lesson that precedes this one (link above: the word “here” and below). Rebecca Holden who writesdid a wondrous response to this exercise (see her in comments on the lesson). I’ll talk about her here and, as your responses come in, anyone else who posts on the “Get Ready” Lesson.
In the Rorschach experiments, what you learned is that the trite images—part one of the exercise—can be made original, as Rebecca did. But the images themselves don’t do much work because they’re all too familiar.
In part two of that exercise: the work became more original and we will see why when we read “Ars Poetica” and talk about the process of creativity.
A poem’s layered complexity of meaning is why it’s worth reading, why it gives pleasure, breaks open again and again in different ways and why it can’t easily be summed up with a “message.” This is not to say that a poem doesn’t have anything to say. It is to say that a good poem has more than one thing to say.
So, let’s read a poem with a message to see if I can prove my point. “Advice to a Prophet” by Richard Wilbur.
Guest post coming next week from.
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Now back to Richard Wilbur and a quick getting started exercise for you, writer of prose or poetry.
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