Download How Poems Think by Reginald Gibbons PDF

By Reginald Gibbons

To write down or learn a poem is frequently to imagine in distinctively poetic ways—guided through metaphors, sound, rhythms, associative move, and extra. Poetry’s stance towards language creates a selected intelligence of notion and feeling, a compressed articulation that expands internal adventure, imagining with phrases what can't continually be imagined with out them. via translation, poetry has diverse poetic traditions, and a few of poetry’s methods of pondering commence within the historical international and stay powerful even now.

In How Poems Think, Reginald Gibbons provides a wealthy gallery of poetic inventiveness and continuity drawn from a variety of poets—Sappho, Pindar, Shakespeare, Keats, William Carlos Williams, Marina Tsvetaeva, Gwendolyn Brooks, etc. Gibbons explores poetic temperament, rhyme, metonymy, etymology, and different components of poetry as modes of considering and feeling. In party and homage, Gibbons attunes us to the chances of poetic pondering.

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Or else it is an unconscious leitmotiv: When I speak it comes forth exterior to myself and I recognize it” (Cixous and Calle-­Gruber 1997, 11). She speaks of the writing (part of the) self as an other in this way, too: “[A]t times, what writing does well is this meticulous work that one does not have the time to do, one does not take the time to do when one is not writing” (18–19).  In Cixous’s practice of writing, an unforeseen, unanticipated, and even apparently mistaken articulation is the invaluable entrance to imaginative freedom.

Most poems, or the best, / Describe their own birth, and this / Is what they are—a space / Cleared to walk around in. // Their various symmetries are / guarantees that the space has / Boundaries, and beyond them / The turbulence it was cleared from” (1990, 284).  The etymology of the word grain throws a first link into view in the Romance languages and then retreats back toward Latin. Its first meaning seems always to have been “seed of cereal plants,” starting with wheat (“corn” in British usage).

I’ll give an example: “Worry hedges my days / Like a roil of thick mist at the edge of a covert / Fringing a tufted meadow” (1972, 302). The mist and meadow are not the poetic site of thought, nor aspects of a physically imagined place, but rather, as he says, a symbol for the thought. And the poetic “hedge” is not a visual image of green but an abstract image made of mist. By contrast to English, French poetry often creates a realm of symbols and idealized images, whether positive or negative.

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