Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-19-2017, 06:03 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,021
Default How fetishizing ‘craft’ can get in the way of a good poem

Michael Bazzett, whose poetry I have often enjoyed, has a compelling read on the "dangers" of craft.

http://lithub.com/how-fetishizing-cr...f-a-good-poem/
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-19-2017, 06:47 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 2,548
Default

Thank you, Andrew, that is a nice piece.

John
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-19-2017, 07:13 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 13,990
Default

I'm not really grooving on what he's saying. Of course "the reader wants something alive inside that structure." Who is saying otherwise? He's arguing with something that no one ever said.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-19-2017, 09:40 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,693
Default

I'll search out his poetry but am not impressed with his thinking here. I like that he talks of the long process of finding a voice and method but don't know he ever makes the point, a point, clear. How is it about craft?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-19-2017, 10:33 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Plum Island, MA
Posts: 10,506
Default

I think we all work and react differently. This is Bazzett's experience and Bazzett's reaction. There's nothing here I strongly disagree with, but the only thing I find extraordinary about it is that he seems to think it's a big deal.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-20-2017, 12:00 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 2,548
Default

I like his contrast between "honest labor," based on an acquired and acquirable body of knowledge, and poems that just happen, under the radar poems so to speak. I know I continue to add a little value to poems that took me a lot of work, and perhaps to subtract value from ones I tossed off in minutes. Surely the labor counts for something.
As Whistler put it in his libel suit, "I don't ask five thousand pounds (or whatever) for five minutes' work, but for the experience of a lifetime."

Cheers,
John

Update: 200 guineas, evidently: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...h-1440343.html

Last edited by John Isbell; 12-20-2017 at 12:09 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-20-2017, 12:31 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 1,781
Default

His main point seems to be less about craft itself being a bad thing and more about escaping the influence of other writers' techniques: realising that what is good about their poems can't be reproduced by simply copying the outward mechanics. A fair point, hardly earth-shattering. The whole thorny problem of what makes a poem 'alive' seems to contain a paradox designed to drive poets mad: the more you overthink and worry about it, the less likely that it's going to appear on the page.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-20-2017, 02:05 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 2,548
Default

Mark: "The whole thorny problem of what makes a poem 'alive' seems to contain a paradox designed to drive poets mad: the more you overthink and worry about it, the less likely that it's going to appear on the page."
It's alive, Frankenstein announces, as he sees all his labor pay off.

John
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-20-2017, 07:09 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 13,990
Default

But his implicit premise is that craft is somehow deadening and one must therefore choose between craft and vitality. I think he ought to be saying that one should strive to have both, or even that craft is a tool used to generate vitality, not an impediment to vitality.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-20-2017, 07:28 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,021
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark McDonnell View Post
His main point seems to be less about craft itself being a bad thing and more about escaping the influence of other writers' techniques: realising that what is good about their poems can't be reproduced by simply copying the outward mechanics. A fair point, hardly earth-shattering. The whole thorny problem of what makes a poem 'alive' seems to contain a paradox designed to drive poets mad: the more you overthink and worry about it, the less likely that it's going to appear on the page.
I think that's right. I don't think it's earth-shattering in any way, but I do think it's the sort of thing that is worth saying, and one that probably does speak to new writers.

It's not about writing a sonnet, it's about writing a poem, and if it happens to be a sonnet, great. It's easy to get caught in form or craft to the detriment of the poem. I've done it myself, and I think we all have seen it on the board.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 7,878
Total Threads: 19,487
Total Posts: 253,216
There are 167 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online