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Old 10-30-2017, 10:32 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is online now
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Default Fenton on Juvenalia

I have been reading James Fenton’s “The Strength of Poetry,” and his chapter on “Wilfred Owen’s Juvenalia” is something every young poet should read. He concludes that

a complicated set of forces combined to release [Owen] from the spirit of his juvenilia. When reasoning about our creativity, we cannot assume that causality is going to behave in the way causality normally behaves. There must be such a thing as causality, we assume; but we cannot expect to understand its workings. In the writing of poetry we may say that the thing we predict will not happen. If we can predict it, it is not poetry. We have to surprise ourselves. We have to outpace our colder calculations.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 10-30-2017 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:17 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Yes, that is nicely put.

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Old 11-03-2017, 09:02 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is online now
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I also love that essay because you slowly realize that Fenton, with all his teasing and fondness, has a serious crush on Owen.
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:22 AM
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Michael Ferris Michael Ferris is offline
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Aaron, I love Fenton and what he has to say in your post. Iím reminded of something Auden once said, that he had always trusted the Muse to send him the right thing to read next. I feel thatís true; once again, there is something in the poetís or artistís development that canít be calculated or exactly planned. Iíve never heard a better expression of it than in this song by Stephen Sondheim, from "Sunday in the Park with George". Sondheim certainly knows something about the creative process.
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