Sunday, March 29, 2009

Poems in Pockets: Poem Among World

1. The world is personal. It is composed of the environment that immediately surrounds us. The Poet may pretend that the world as a whole concerns her, but any and everything that amuses or inspires the Poet can be traced back to the spaces she has temporarily inhabited or continues to inhabit. This is not to say necessarily that the Poet is self-obsessed, only that she writes his spaces most comfortably and accurately. The Poet’s World is not interchangeable with her experiences. All experiences take place in some sort of space, whether that space is physical, metaphorical or figurative, and a Poet’s space is thus her World.

2. A Poet who aspires to be “worldly” (that is, one who consistently chases a profound idea in her own work or who expects to discover infinite horizons in every poem she encounters) is a shallow Poet. By always defaulting to the universal ideal, this sort of Poet doesn’t even manage to scratch the surface; the extent of her poetic aspirations is simply too broad. The successful Poet does not resist her inclination to write about her spaces and thus, she write more genuinely.

3. Poems are eventually suspended among the Poet’s World in pockets. These pockets are invisible and are akin to an isolation of sorts, (an incident, perhaps, but not consistently). Pockets are found everywhere among the Poet’s World, but the Poet’s entire World is not a pocket in and of itself. Pockets are comparable to vacuums, but instead of holding Nothingness, they accommodate a Something. These Somethings can be objects, people, concepts, and events, but they are ultimately limitless. Pockets and the Somethings inside them are always informed by the Poet’s World or atmosphere. Two Poets may inhabit a similar World but the ways in which they navigate and interpret it will always vary.

4. A pocket with a gripping (to the Poet) Something inside is fodder for a Poem. This phenomenon should not be confused with inspiration in the traditional sense of the word. Inspiration is too often associated with the romantic, the positive, the uplifting. The inspiration that is derived from the Something is comparable to a stimulus of some kind. This stimulus is always able to be traced back to the Poet’s World. It is up to the Poet to take the Something and shape it into a Poem in whatever way she sees fit. In this way, the Poet acts as negotiator of the Something. The Poet places her aesthetic upon the Something and readies it for turning back out into her World as a Poem. A Poem is a Something that is manifest, but not fundamentally blatant. A Poem is not always “wordable.” Because Somethings are limitless, it can be assumed that a Poem is not always a word.

5. There is no such thing as a small Poem or a small-minded Poem. No Poet or person otherwise is equipped to judge a Poem as such because they do not have the same knowledge of the author-Poet’s space. Criticism is encouraged when it comes to Poetry, but only if it is acknowledged as basically arbitrary. There is no such thing as a Master Poet in the sense that a Master Poet supposedly masters the entire spectrum of past, present, and future Poetry. A Poet can only master his own Poems and these Poems are forever changing. A Poet’s World is always evolving and not always by the choice of the Poet, particularly when it comes to the mind space. The Poet is hardly in control of the majority of these changes, therefore any Poet’s attempt to guide or influence another Poet’s work will ultimately fall flat or derail the Poet’s work from its natural course. Poetry-writing can be learned, but it is also a natural inclination and a natural process


  1. 1. I think it's interesting that you've gendered the poet and the poem or world as female and male, respectively.

    2. hear, hear! down with the constant thrust to the universal, let it exist for what it is, then impose grandiose ideals and agendas upon the poem in your own time. for chrissake, can't a poem follow its own agenda?

    3. I like this metaphor. can their be holes in pockets? (maybe disintegration of memory?)

    5. ha! I love that criticism is welcomed but arbitrary. which renders what I'm saying mostly irrelevant. macaroni! wait, the genders just changed. I liked it better when poet was female.

    the last sentence trails off... and feels like it either needs more explanation or to be axed.

    I like this

  2. Can we trade manifestos? I like your's better. I love the idea of "Pockets" it makes perfect sense to me (because you wrote it well and it's an appropriate image). This comes up in 3 which appears to be a retaliation to the problem that arises in two. I agree, setting sights too broad or too high makes for bad poetry but more importantly it makes it too difficult to write poetry. I like 4... but sometimes I think there are moments of luck and inspiration.... however I agree they should NOT be counted on.

  3. Like Jackie and Steph, I think that your review is wonderful. There are only a couple areas where I would initiate change.

    In "This is not to say necessarily that the Poet is self-obsessed, only that she writes his spaces most comfortably and accurately" I don't know if you mean "she writes his spaces." I understand what you mean by space, but the gender change here is kinda tricky. If you are trying to do something with gender, I'd suggest you expand on it a bit.

    Combining my interpretation of "The Poet’s World is not interchangeable with her experiences" and the last sentence of the paragraph, I get that the Poet's world is an "actual" space, but why?
    You say that experience is located in a specific world, "the poet's world" but how does that world separate from the world of experience?

    I don't know what you mean by "A pocket with a gripping (to the Poet) Something inside is fodder for a Poem." I think you need more clarity here.

    The rest is gold!

    I hope these comments help