Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Poet and His Poetry; Excuse the Pretentiousness


 

Borrowed this from Aditi Machado's Blog. Since poetry is the soul of literature, just as the mind (or, whatever is in the centre of the body) is the soul of the human consciousness, the following definition of poetry fits well into the vast amounts of drivel poets (and pretenders, like me) have to sift through to arrive at the few lines which pass off as poetry.

Poets on Poetry: Han Dong

" The direction of poetry goes from bottom to top. Poetry is something dimly discernible in the sky which descends to the human world thanks to the productive force of the writer's waiting and yearning. Poetry is not an excavation down into the depths; it is not coal. Writers are not labourers — they must set aside the attitude that writing poetry requires some form of exertion."

That said, I can't, just can't write poetry to a deadline. I tried it recently for a Poetry Slam and came a cropper. That may be the reason I don't participate in writing exercises which state a theme and encourages you to work hard. If I did that, not only would it turn out bad, I will be like a shirking schoolboy, hating his homework. Because poetry as Han Dong says, cannot be dug out by hard work, it has to descend from the sky, shape into a few pithy words, transcend obstacles (bad grammar, bad figures of speech, worse pretentiousness), and then sit on the poet's finger tips burning to be put on paper or into pixels.

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