"Brain, shake out thy water, dog-like." -- Ron Padgett

Monday, February 6, 2017


What can it be?
We read “Thank you for saying Thank you” by Charles Bernstein http://wings.buffalo.edu/epc/authors/bernstein/reviews/silliman2.html
Varese said that music is “Organized Sound.” Is poetry is “organized language”? (Are Orangutan’s orangutanized apes?)
Does poetry have to be comprised of words? Can it include nonstandard language or communication? The unspellable? The unsayable? The invisible?
Can poetry represent or embody an entirely different way of engaging with the world, with thought, with self, with language? What implicit assumptions are inherent in standard language (grammar, semantics, structures, spelling, lexicon, etc.)?
Does poetry have to “express” anything? Does it have to be filled with feels? Does it have to “mean” anything”?
We listened to “sound poetry” by The Four Horsemen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=843O0bTVKHQ&spfreload=10
What is the role of reading in poetry? Of interpretation? Of context?
We looked at “The Swan” a shape poem which Michele brought in. She also suggested this poetry video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4Up0drnXX4
Can a poem be a video game? http://vispo.com/arteroids/indexenglish.htm
A video poem: https://vimeo.com/81195711 a modern revisioning of the Anglo Saxon poem, The Wayfarer.
1. Write a poem about nothing. Or about as little as you possibly can? Is this even possible? Are we meaning-making organisms and will always map some kind of sense or sensibility onto texts, art objects, or indeed, the world?
A couple years ago, I wrote about this and also linked to a VSauce video about the world’s shortest poem.
2. A poem is what is left out. Write a short prose piece about a scar that you got, or else make up a story about one. Tear the prose it in half. Which half makes a better poem? How does what is left out add to the drama, the rhythm, the pacing, the reader involvement, and perhaps makes the “poem” about more than its surface.
3. Haiku.
Traditional Japanese haiku is usually about nature and has a strict syllabic form. Modern English-language haiku doesn’t necessary abide by anything like this. It is usually more about the ‘just-so-ness’ or “a-ha! moment” of juxtapositions in the poem. We listened to a couple haiku by Jack Kerouac: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJdxJ5llh5A&spfreload=10
Here’s a haiku by Ron Padgett:
First: five syllables.

Second: seven syllables.

Third: five syllables.

Write an instant haiku
-write several short sentences each describing something happening in the city
-write several describing something happening in nature

Now choose two city sentences and match them with one nature sentence. Explore which nature sentence creates the most energy when juxtaposed with the city sentence.

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