with five poems for the critical eye of each other and our expert poet Tamar Yoseloff. We had an unusually lively discussion, mostly linked to interpretation. The concept of what a poem is about is as important as looking at aspects like its form, rhyme and rhythm and so on … or perhaps some would argue the opposite. Comments welcome.
Anyway, today two of the poems we looked at (mine was one) produced starkly contrasting ‘readings’ about a key feature: birth and death for one, a young child and an elderly woman in another. It was good to pull at each of these poems to find what led to the stretch of these interpretations; a post modern stance would say it is all in the mind/eye of the reader anyway. Its always good for me to hear what my words mean to the reader … there’s often things there that I have failed to see and certainly have not explicitly written about.
The other three poems all added to my knowledge of the world as well as to my understanding of poetry. I now know something about Medea –a rather nasty woman it seems, about the experiences of a Hungarian poet during the repression and the rarity of pelicans on the Danube. Also good today to read two long poems. Length has been another feature of our discussions recently and that has led me to extending one of my early ‘short poem’ drafts to 70 lines! One for the long poem magazine when they open their doors for submissions in March.
What a joyful way to learn … now I need to turn my attention to the last assignment for the no surprises on line course. With my sonnet safely up-loaded, I think I’m going to have a go at writing with words from the Random Word Generator –the challenge is (again) the demand of the form … ten words, three 8 line poems, and its all in the order of those words. More on this later … its not going to be easy but then it never is.