Friday, 21 May 2010

The Dance, The Intellect and The Dream

This week I went to a master class with the Australian poet Les Murray. The class itself wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped but he is a lovely man as well as being an amazing writer and he did give us a few wise nuggets about the process of writing poetry.  One interesting thing that he said was that there are three parts to a poem – the dance, the intellect and the dream and the mystery is how much of each of these that you put in.  This rings really true for me and I know that some of my poems that don’t quite work have too much of one of these – normally intellect. It also reminded me of something our tutor said at the beginning of last term, which was that a good poem can be reduced to the steps of a dance. This is  an interesting idea – but I would say that it is not just any old dance – for instance you wouldn’t’ liken it to the skinhead moonstomp where you would just wade right in and trample all over your subject matter. But there is also a case for not being too delicate with your subject matter, pussyfooting around it and never quite getting to the point. I suppose if I had to liken it to a particular dance it would possibly be the tango...

2 comments:

Jamie Dedes said...

I've never taken poetry or writing classes, so I enjoy your reports here. Thank you! I've put you up on my blog roll.

pupski said...

thanks!