Saturday, August 21, 2010

Long Poems

I like long poems and have written a few. My To the Centre and Back got third prize in the Kavanagh competition last year though my shorter long poem Travellers didn't even get on the Over The Edge longlist last year.

Long poems are extreme
. They're too bold, too ordinary, too self-centered, too expansive, too grand, too banal, too weird, too much. They revel in going too far; they eschew caution and practicality and categorization and even, perhaps, poetry itself, which as a form tends to value the economy of language. These poems are anti-tweets though they often contain twitter-like language.

From An Anatomy of the Long Poem by poet Rachel Zucker on the website. She too has a special love for the long poem. Why? Among a list of reasons she includes:
Long poems take time to read.
Long poems allow the poet to change her mind.
Long poems are imperfect.


AquaMarina said...

thanks for this Michael, I get a bit impatient around long poems. I think it goes back to wading through endless dense poems for 'o' level with an uninspired teacher, put me completely off poetry for over three decades. Maybe I will dig out those poems and see what I make of them now, and be more brave about tackling other long poems...

Michael Farry said...

Thanks AM. Coincidentally Todd Swift in his Eyewear blog today mentions Long Poem Magazine: