mid-century maunderings for men who know better

What it is

Poetry is the deliberate use of meter to express an idea.

The rhythmic application of language to form lines into stanzas gives the poem momentum and propels it to its conclusion.

Poetry is not about how sad you are.

Or how beautiful she is.

Your feelings don’t come into it.

It is the difference between swimming and drowning, or to paraphrase Mark Twain, it is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.

Poetry is not a collection of grunts, burps and snarls that ejaculate across the page in a burst of novelty typography.

Poetry is not the arrangement of words into lines and line breaks, despite what your tutor told you.

Again. Poetry is deliberate meter in service of a thought expressed with precision and grace.

And when you understand that you will find poetry everywhere.

Max Roach’s lissome drum solo on “Brilliant Corners”, from the Thelonious Monk LP of the same name.

Jerry Jemmott’s bass playing on the King Curtis and the Kingpins track “Memphis Soul Stew”.

Fayard and Harold Nicholson dancing with the Cab Calloway band’s: “Jumpin’ Jive”  in Stormy Weather (1943)


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This entry was posted on November 3, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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