In reggae I have a model of artistic excellence and possibility that is challenging and inspiring. The poem remains a demanding thing - an object to be understood and shaped into my own sense of self, the same is true of the play, the novel, the short story. Yet, for some reason, I approach these existing genres with the kind of confidence that the reggae artist approaches any song floating around out there.
With Head Off & Split, Nikky Finney establishes herself as one of the most eloquent, urgent, fearless and necessary poets writing in America today. What makes this book as important as anything published in the last decade is the irresistible music, the formal dexterity and the imaginative leaps she makes with metaphor and language in these simply stunning poems. This is a very, very important achievement.
I have never felt a placard and a poem are in any way similar.
I have never received full credit from the SPLA [Sudanese People's Liberation Army], because the men are very sexist and feel that I'm acting out of place, bringing too much attention to myself - but for the funeral of our leader John Garang, they had me write the poem "Chol Apieth" to eulogize him, and that was their way of acknowledging my contributions.
Remember picture books are the closest form of writing to a poem. Even though they don't have to rhyme, they must be poetic. They must be written so the worst actress can read with comfort and expression.
You cannot call a poem female just because it is written by a woman. Nevertheless, I think attempts to find femininity in female bodies, life, and thinking, attempts to find a way for women to speak, will improve widely in Korea.
There is a specific kind of day when I feel like writing poems. My senses become really sharp. This day is when I feel as if I am drowning into the abandonment of death.
It is difficult to disturb the common usage of Korean that is bent to the perspective of a male-oriented society. Korean society is based on both a politics and history that have been disguised as a solid society of solid male poems, a solid written language, fixed rules of how to write literature, and a narrative language.
Poems are a dance of language that comes out when my body taps into the rhythm of language. Rhythm gets us naked and exposes our selves completely.
The grotesque in my poems is the motion I use to put myself and the grotesque world together. So the miserable images I use in my poems are the same as the letters I send into the miserable world.
Poems are ways of saying you clearly remember the day of your death and your tomb. When I am writing poetry, I relive my days when a woman inside me dies many times.
Alienation between the content and form happens frequently in my poems because I obstinately carry on dismantling my body, an act you can also call "dismantling delusion." I think that after I dismantle my female body, I can finally dismantle established lyric poems.
As a sick kid, I always looked out the window. The objects of my observation were the sun, the seasons, the wind, crazy people, and my grandfather's death. During my long period of observation, I felt that something like poems were filling up my body.
As a university student, I tried hard to write poems in Korean. It was at that time that I foresaw my death and the world's death. I think my poems started at that time.
Out there people are working and arguing and laughing, living their beautiful, terrible lives, falling in love and having babies and being bored out of their skulls and feeling depressed, then being consoled by some little thing like watching the patterns the light makes through the leaves of trees, casting shadows on the sidewalks. I remember the line from that poem now. Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
Maybe you're one of those people who writes poems, but rarely reads them. Let me put this as delicately as I can: If you don't read, your writing is going to suck.
I judge wisely...as if nothin ever surprise me,Loungin, between two pillars of ivory.I'm lively, my dome piece is like buildin stones in Greece.My poems are deep, from ancient thrones I speak.
Life's essential length is only a few pages long, as succinct as a line of verse and as brief as the title of a poem.
I don't aspire, but I would be very happy if one of my poems suddenly offered someone a shady rest stop, a breather in our interminable march under the murderous, scorching heat of the superfluous.
You are walking in a desert.You hear a bird singing.As absurd as it may seem for a bird to be pending in the desert,you are obligated to make it a tree.That's poem
Greed and desire Not peace, but fire Coveting creation Created damnation Pulled alongside A gate thrown too wide Now our home calls And darkness fall "I rubbed my temples, feeling a headache coming on."A for effort, ladies, but F for clarity. You do realise that your wierd poem things never explain anything",
When you read the poem, you wonder, what might Grendel have been? Could it have been a person that was turned away? Someone that was disfigured or deformed? Like everything else did, it came from somewhere. It's really exciting, and not knowing is part of the magic and mystery.
Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper, That we may record our emptiness.
Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.
Yes, there is a Nirvanah; it is leading your sheep to a green pasture, and in putting your child to sleep, and in writing the last line of your poem
I don't write poetry for the New Yorker. My poems appear in the Nation, mostly.
There are definitely connections between poems, but I wanted each to stand on its own. I guess it goes back to the idea of trying to zoom in and out, and to modulate, so there are different ways of looking at any experience for the reader. Even having short poems and long poems - there has to be some kind of variation in the experience of reading as a whole.
There's something immediate about the experience of reading a poem. It makes sense in my own mind, but I'm trying to figure out a way to articulate it... It's like looking at a painting: you're able to take in the totality of the work all at once, and so processing whatever information that painting is giving you is almost secondary to simply apprehending what's in front of you.
In a lot of ways, the task at hand for any poem is to approach something that defies exactness or definition with a kind of exactness or precision.
I've been writing poems and stories since I was about 13.
It all depends on what I'm working on and if there is a deadline involved. Anything that's headed toward a magazine or newspaper is hacked out on the computer; that's a matter of efficiency. I write longer pieces of prose on a typewriter because the act of retyping it for the computer is a useful tactic for revision. Poems tend to be written longhand.
I didn't write poems for a number of years after graduate school because the criticisms of other students in the workshops wouldn't quiet down in my mind when I tried to work.
Every poem that I write is, in a sense, trying to find adequate words for this unspeakable word, around which my entire life turns.
As Aristotle said, you have to be an aristocrat or a reactionary to write a good proletarian poem.
When you finish a poem, it clicks shut like the top of a jewel box, but prose is endless. I haven't experienced an awful lot of clicking shut!
These poems are a mental sketch as formed / Passage by passage of light and shade / Maintained and preserved to this point / Brought together in paper and mineral ink
Poetic justice, poetic justice.. if I told you that a flower bloom in a dark room would you trust it. I mean I write poems in these songs.
Lehman uses many conveyances-including the prose poem, the sestina, and curt rhymes-to travel across the writing life of a poet whose instinctive romanticism is always bracing and tough-minded, brimming with a rare generosity.
A poet can feel free, in my estimation, to write a poem for himself. Or a painter can paint a painting for himself. You can write a short story for yourself. But for me, comedy by its nature is communal. If other people don't get it, I'm not sure why you are doing it.
The ingredients that make a good poem often differ from those that make a good essay and from those that make a good novel.