Double vision

I have posted these poems before, but being a lover of ekphrastic poetry, I feel it will do you all good to read them again … Musée Des Beaux Arts By W.H. Auden About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters: how well they understood Its human position; how it takes place While someone else…

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…

From Evan Lavender-Smith’s Old Notebooks

(could also be read as writing prompts) ~ Memoir beginning with detailed narrative description of subject’s rich and fertile childhood slowly disintegrates into list of difficult books he read as an adult. ~ Academic essay, after Moretti, quantifying the extent to which Jackson Pollock’s paintings influenced late-20th-century hairstyles. ~ Story about a mother who develops…

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 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…

Ways Of Looking At A Poem

When studying literature I did my best to avoid poetry. I found it very difficult to find a place for my own feelings & reflections – reading poetry was like doing maths = trying to find THE right answer. Maybe this is why Gregory Orr has made such a difference in my literary life? Here…

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                                    …

Silence & Suffering

Ars Poetica V (personal lyric, cont.) Speech is among the most fundamental ways we have to connecting our selves to other selves. This is what Gregory Orr can tell us about silence & suffering There are silences that are positive and powerful and willed by the self, but many silences have a destructive origin and destructive…

Ars Poetica V (personal lyric)

I found this book which I had left unfinished. And started re-reading: … for a poem to move us it must bring us near our own threshold. We must feel genuinely threatened or destabilized by the poem’s vision of disordering, even as we are simultaneously reassured and convinced by its orderings Gregory Orr: Poetry as Survival…