Metaphor lives in film today more than in literature. Father Berrigan writes that he and his brother stand like the fences of abandoned farms. Like it. Why didn’t he just write a poem about the fences of abandoned farms? Because he feared that no one would get it. It is much easier to imagine a […]
Poetry is neither word painting nor the use of unfamiliar locutions for their own sake. It is the charming and precise conveyance of ideas. That poetry may use words in unfamiliar ways happens because poetry sometimes deals in ideas that have never been put to words before.
Poetry is the art of recognizing peculiar structures in nature. You don’t understand the structure, you just recognize it. Some people spy out the four leaf clover; you, poet, spy out the four leaf relationship, the four leaf justification. It is very difficult to do this. Years later a scientist may come to describe and […]
I don’t like this scansion of Lovelace’s To Althea, From Prison. The lines all have four stressed syllables, I think, rather than alternating four and three. At least, they sound better when I read them that way. When LOVE | with UN | con FIN | ed WINGS Hov ERS | with IN | my […]