23 jun. 2007

I was fooling around yesterday with some criteria for poetry yesterday. I came up with a few, like nioi, poeminess, etc... But then I thought that imaginative freedom trumped and superseded everything else. It is the criterion that makes all other criteria meaningless in the end. It's when the poem doesn't behave like it should, like a well-written poem, but instead takes you somewhere else. How soul-deadening is the idea that every good poem should be coherent or clear or have concrete visual images--or whatever.

So I'll spare you my list of criteria. Ideally, there should be a new list every day, superseding and making irrelevant yesterday's list. It's easy to lose sight of what poetry is for in the first place. When you realize that, then you know that any criterion that arrogates to itself the entire field, trying to be more significant that imaginative freedom, is the enemy.

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