How Emily Dickinson Writes A Poem: A Short Video Introduction

Not open for further replies.
I agree with Emily Dickinson, 'Tell all the truth but tell it slant.'

Nuts to Horace and his 'instruct and delight.'
Do we all think that deeply when writing poems... or is it the unconscious at work in spite of ourselves? :rolleyes:

I saw an observation by the Scottish poet Robin Robertson last week about creating verse:

I've always thought that writing poetry has very little to do with the intellect. It's not something one can explain and chat about very easily: certainly not about the making of it. It's very resistant to explanation. It comes from a place that is occult, in the sense of being hidden. It attends to some of our deepest anxieties and hopes in the same way that dreams do....

I know what he means. I'm currently re-reading short stories and novellas I wrote 4-5 years ago, polishing them to support a campaign of self-promotion in 2019. I also wrote 500 poems and songs in that time, compiling some into 30 titles that I uploaded to Smashwords and Amazon. I haven't looked at them yet, but I know it'll be like peeking at transcripts from a session on a psychiatrist's couch! Of all the writing forms I've tried, poetry resists perfection the most...there's always a word that could be changed to make more of an impression on the reader.
Introduction to Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
Not open for further replies.