A Theory of Poetry


Not really. Theories of poetry are bloated, self-referential, and filled with all sorts of erroneous assumptions. Let's call this more self-referential revelations about one poet.

And there won't be many of those. I just wanted to note that while I greatly appreciate those poets who are able to use rhyme naturally and fluidly--Eliot and Frost come to mind, my own poetry doesnt' fit well into that schema. I have found over the years that I tend to prefer alliterative, assonant, and resonant poetry. I like the internal and external sounds of the words to work in more intricate ways than rhyme. I like the complexity of the music of words. And it was hammered home to me more and more as I wrote the following:

These Woods

How very easy it is to become
lost, to wonder down the wrong trail looking
for some sign of having passed by this way,
forgetting that the only motion is
forward, even when it seems like standing
still or continuous circling. Shadow
and light, the sound of leaves in wind, perhaps
a nearby stream trickling over rocks in
the late summer heat. Or, if these trees were
mangroves and the scuttling black ghosts were
crabs, the vision beyond the tangled limbs
would be the sea--blue-green immensity
stretching out to a sky that thins, becomes
transparent and lingers on the distant
[_____] Or, these woods are a muddle
a confusion of all forests, all lands,
all times. Whatever they are, I am lost
in them, stopped by a pebble from moving
forward, transfixed by a shadow, caught out
by the sudden unsearched for splash of sun--
light in eyes more blinding than the dimness
of the domain in which I wander. Where
am I? I want to call out shattering
a sylvan stillness, thoughtless blind silence.
And within me, the echo, "Where indeed?"
Still stopped, now I stoop to touch the pebble
that seemed to bar my way and feel its cool
damp surface and it's sun-stored warmth all at
[__] When will I want to move on? Is it
even a question I should ask? Still here
touching the smooth white that first distracted
me in my headstrong stomping through the gloom,
I dare now to ask what I would not know.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 31, 2007 7:47 AM.

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