Monday, December 27, 2010
I Have Not Wasted My Christmas
Catching up on some poetry magazines. The December issue of Poetry is the Q&A issue where poets answer questions about their poems. A nice change. Some interesting pieces here but I was most taken by some John Tranter poems. Never heard of him before but his Hotel de Ville the first draft of which was created by a computer programme translating French. In his answers he says (claims?) that the famous last line of the James Wright poem Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota is a translation from a Rimbaud poem.
He goes on to say this of poetry:
I think it is a mistake to ask poems to have the same clarity as a lesson in chemistry. Logic belongs in textbooks or newspaper articles; there we need truth and economy and clear structure and lots of plain daylight. Poetry belongs to the other part of the mind, and its best energies relate to our shadowy unconscious urges.
That's all very well for him but he doesn't have to read his stuff to a Writers' Group who ask far more insightful questions.
Tht reminds me I still have to read a volume of Rimbaud I bought at the Waterstone's closing down sale in Blanchardstown. Ah remember when there was a bookshop in Blanchardstown! The good old days.
Posted by Michael Farry at 11:47 AM