Friday, February 05, 2010

let me in your window (oh, oh, oh, oh)*

"This wind has thorns. The sky colorless. . . " One of my favorite opening lines to a poem ("My Persephone," Kim Johnson). Only tonight this wind is thornless, but it's howling, the way the wind is supposed to howl in horror movies and Edgar Allen Poe stories. And it's keeping me awake.

Genesis, Exorcist, Leviathan, Do-the-right-thing. (Psych)

I wrote a poem last week, or I kind of wrote a poem. One option for class annotations is an imitation of the poet we're reading (the other options are cantos and traditional annotations). I wrote a poem, that I enjoyed writing, but the rhythms weren't mine. That's the point of the exercise--to experience new ways of creating a poem.

This damn wind.

Anyway, the poem. It's my poem, and it isn't my poem. And while I've been thinking about it, my professor mentioned in an email that this particular piece was her favorite of my work (and yes, she knows it's an imitation.)

The train interrupts the wind, and I'm glad. Now I'm hoping for a police siren. I haven't heard one tonight.

What does this mean? I've already established in my brain that I don't have to please my professors. But I was also interested in this new voice/rhythm/thought for poetry, and now it's her "favorite." So do I figure out what's mine in this poem? Or do I just spend my life churning out cheap imitations of other poets?

Note: an imitation is not an easy thing. It requires excessive thought and discipline and seeing the poem as something other than the subject of the poem--does that make sense? It's like looking at the brushstrokes in a painting rather than the whole picture, and copying the brushstrokes without painting the same picture.

Not an easy thing, this wind.


Th. said...


"Imitation" can be a mature form. Really, how is it different from writing the world's threebillionth sonnet?

Anna B said...

ahem. i would like to see the poem.

also, i think it's 100% yours.

Lekili said...

I get huge satisfaction out of reading your blog...its almost like poetry and it gives me a peek into that genius brain of yours.

And I second Anna. Send it on. Its been awhile since you've given me the pleasure.

Art Mama said...

I love your blog and I want to follow it, but I can't see a subscribe or follow button. Please put one on!!
Regards, Julianne in New Zealand


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