Allow the self to be distracted — (Ars Poetica XVI)

—  wasting time is the most personal, most private, most intimate form of conversation with oneself, as well as with another. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle *   Susan Hiller: Dream Mapping (1973/74)  Dream Mapping, 1973 was an art event provocatively poised between an experiment (social or scientific) and a performance without an…

Ars Poetica XV

 We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. –EM Forster

Ars Poetica XIV

I know roughly speaking, how I became a writer. I don’t know precisely why. In order to exist, did I really need to line up words and sentences? In order to exist, was it enough for me to be the author of a few books? … One day I shall certainly have to start using…

Notes on Melancholy, part 4

In my first note on melancholy I quoted the following question raised by Jacky Bowring, she asked: How can things that are sorrowful be beautiful? Louise Glück’s First Snow is not a theoretical answer, but a wonderful demonstration of something deeply sorrowful becoming almost unbearably beautiful – First Snow  by Louise Glück  Like a child, the earth’s going to…

Ars Poetica XIII

The space between two languages is a space like no other. — Anne Carson . Writing anything at all is a work of translation exactly comparable to that of transmuting a text from one language into another. — Paul Valéry .  

Ars Poetica XII: Art is a question

In my last post I offered a few points from Siri Hustvedt’s truly interesting essay on Louise Bourgeois. One of the things I have been thinking about since, is Hustvedt’s assertion that: A work of art is always part person, that is: a work of art is part-thing-part-person, it is this aliveness – according to…

Ars Poetica X (unreportable sadnesses)

The Poet’s Occasional Alternative I was going to write a poem I made a pie instead      it took about the same amount of time of course the pie was a final draft      a poem would have had some distance to go      days and weeks and much crumpled paper the pie already had a talking tumbling audience among small…

Ars Poetica VIII (Precision and surprise)

In his introduction to Best American Poetry 2016, Edward Hirsch writes: Poetry is an art form that continues to thrive in unexpected ways, engaging and evading its own history, setting out on unknown paths. We live, perhaps we have always lived, in perilous times, and stand on the edge of an abyss, which absorbs us. We…

Ars Poetica VII

From Mary Oliver: “My Friend Walt Whitman” … I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple—or a green field—a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing—an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness—wonderful as that part of it is. I learned…

Ars Poetica VI – stanza

(or: how to set up a perfect exhibition) It seems to me that poetic theory is very often also is relevant for visual aesthetics. See for example the concept of stanza, which actually originates from the Italian: room, station, stopping-place, halting place, from Vulgar Latin stantia – station, from Latin stāre to stand: STANCE.  in poetry stanza is – according to…

Poetry As Survival

Ars Poetica V (personal lyric, cont.); Poetry as Survival – postscript:                                          It is difficult to get the news from poems                                    …