Friday, October 20, 2006

Love of Poetry

I love poetry. It is a mystery and a wonder to me. It is full of magic and holds me in it's thrall.

People have often said to me that some of my poems would make good pieces of prose if I expanded them - but to me there is just something about a poem. It's the use of less words that makes it so special. Prose can sometimes flounder in superfluous words, whereas (good) poetry is more succinct. It gets to the point quicker and without losing the reader along the way. It gets straight to the heart of the matter. One of my favourite poets is Lorca who uses very few words but they are incredibly well chosen and are able to convey powerful imagery and emotion. In his work the silences between the stanzas add a kind of power to the work that is hard to explain.

Only the Desert Remains (And Then) From Poem of the Deep Song by Federico Garcia Lorca (translated by Cola Franzen)

The labyrinths
that time creates

(Only the desert

The heart,
fountain of desire,

(Only the desert

The illusion of dawn
and kisses

Only the desert

This is not an argument for poetry against prose, but rather a rejoicing in the poetic. I love prose too, I am an avid reader and have written plenty of prose myself. But over the years I have found myself coming more and more back to poetry, just as I always end up back at the sea. Maybe it is because poetry is so closely connected with music and rhythm or maybe as I increase in years i want to get to the point quicker without too much pussyfooting around, or maybe it's just that over time my appreciation of the use of language has increased. Who knows it could be all these reasons but somehow poetry feels like coming home.

1 comment:

Anvilcloud said...

I don't read much poetry -- just don't get around to it -- but when I do, I often find emotion and poignancy without always understanding why.