11 ene. 2009


*Alice Notley. Mystery of Small Houses

This book is comprised of autobiographical poems, many containing dreams. It is probably my favorite book of Notley's, simply because of the thematic unity and the consistently strong writing, the keen ear. She is one of the best examples of a poet with a strong voice but without vocal mannerisms or creative writing clichés. The writing is super compressed, concise, even in slightly longer poems, but without the fetish of condensation in an obvious way.

People often confuse compression with brevity, and prolixity with length. But a longer poem might very well have more condensed language than a short one.

5 comentarios:

SEK dijo...

I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but manners prevent me from demanding things from people who are providing me services for free, but I'd love to see you excerpt from the poems you discuss. A number of times I've searched for the poet in question only to find that 1) nothing they've written is online and 2) some of it is only available in a chapbook published in 1973 that retails for $1,290.91 on Amazon. I say this now because I don't know, but want to know, what a compressed poem "without the fetish of condensation" sounds like to your expert ears.

Jonathan dijo...

You mean everyone else doesn't own the exact same books I do?

I will try to be a little more expansive with my quotes in the future.

Andrew Shields dijo...

In the chapter "Brevity" of his "Six Memos for the Next Millennium," Calvino referred to Musil as a writer characterized by "brevity"!

Ray Davis dijo...

I agree with Calvino.

SEK, one of my favorite poems for reading aloud is from Mysteries..., and you can hear Notley read it here.

Jonathan dijo...

Thanks for that, Ray. I'd never heard that before!