18 may. 2007

I learned something quite significant from this. I learned that C Dale Young and I do not speak the same language, poetically speaking. I searched through a recent poetic sequence of mine, The Thelonious Monk Fake Book, to see whether I use words like dark, sadness, chest, hands, water, rain, body, silence. Generally, I don't use these words very much if at all. Where my vocabulary coincided the most with his was in an Ira Gershwin lyric I happened to be quoting at one point. "Holding hands at midnight , 'neath the moonlit sky." I did use "blue" a lot, but that was quoting the titles of Monk tunes, mostly.

It's no criticism of C Dale's excellent book of poetry of course to say that I simply couldn't bring myself use words like that (very much). To me they are *poetry words.* In other words they might correspond to what the average person expects to find in a poem. I don't like depending on an identifiably poetic tone. On the other hand I'm sure my own *poetry words* would be just as embarrassing, if I knew what they were... If I did know I'm sure I would be obliged to ban them, viewing them as crutches that I was better off without...

(You wouldn't ask Creeley to write a book without the word "echo" repeated 30 times, on the other hand.)

3 comentarios:

C. Dale dijo...
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Jonathan dijo...

Oh, but they are used poetically. They are "poemy" words used as such:

"There is light and there is dark,
the man's face and the man's face in water.
His eyes were pools of grief, bottomless

and dangerous... "

That's six of your favorite hundred words right there so this is a good example. The diction is simple yet elevated in tone. Pools and grief are both simple words, but nobody would actually say "pools of grief" unless writing a poem.

C. Dale dijo...
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