Monday 27 October 2008

Paring down Poetry

Can you pare down poetry too much? George Szirtes taught me that cutting some of the superfluous words from my poems made them stronger and I can see that he was right. After the initial shock in my first year at uni of seeing my poetry with words, lines and even stanzas crossed out I was able to see that my poetry was evolving and growing. It is stronger, clearer, more direct, it speaks in its own voice without getting bogged down in ands and buts and explanatory lines.

Minimalist poetry is the kind of poetry that I prefer to read myself - poets like Lorca and Neruda. Poetry that appears simple yet the beauty of the language can bring tears to your eyes and make your heart sing. What I find myself wondering though is whether poetry can become too refined? Does the constant paring down mean that you might lose some essence of the original poem? Will I keep obsessively paring down my words until each line is but a single word? Will my poem eventually be simply a blank page?

There is without a doubt great beauty in silence, but in the silence of choice not that of procrastination.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Opposition in Art and Poetry

"In dialectical terms we claim that there is a continual state of opposition and interaction between the world of objective fact - the sensational and social world of active and economic existence - and the world of subjective fantasy. This opposition creates a state of disquietetude, a lack of spiritual equilibrium, which it is the business of the artist to resolve. he resolves the contradictions by creating a sythesis, a work of art which combines elements from both these worlds, eliminates others, but which for the moment gives us a qualitatively new experience."
(Read, H. in Germain, E.B. Surrealist Poetry in English, 1978)

Monday 6 October 2008

Thoughts on visual ideas

I am finding it difficult to know where to go next with my visual project. I am drawn to the idea of fragments and fragmented texts - but I am also interested in the poetical nature of everyday language. Last week I found the page of an old recipe book on the street and was immediately struck by the poetic nature of some of the writing. I like the idea of somehow marrying fragments with the poetic elements of everyday text - for example recipes, news stories etc - but as yet I am unsur how to do this. One idea was to make some kind of collage.

I am also continuing to develop my idea of using dymo to add text to existing things. My favourite is still the one that i put on the graffiti-ed power cupboard. Not only is is the most aesthetically pleasing but I also feel it has more levels of meaning. The dymo letters are placed in response to the graffiti that someone else has placed there (probably in response to the cupboard itself). So the viewer is viewing a response to a response - taking a photograph changes the nature of the work again and makes it into something else.