Having fun this morning doing rewrites of a bit of doggerel I posted on Twitter last night. It’s the Argument for my newly-designed blog poemswithoutborders.com
The blog is devoted to exploring the phenomenon of “freedom” in poetry, how a poem represents moments of acute penetration of a set of circumstances by principles drawn from literary tradition. Poetics as a branch of ethics; the workings of prudence in the mishmash of contingency that constitutes the world as such. In this sense the old notion of equity is paramount in poetics. I first learned about this from that grand old Stanford scholar Wesley Trimpi. I had failed my Masters exam at Berkeley and took a year off for rebooting in Trimpi’s seminar. Couldn’t have done a better thing.
Anyway, here’s the latest incarnation of the epigraph for the new blog:
The poem’s healing art
Invades the ragged (bleeding?) heart
Breaks down the stupid whole
Of self and frees the soul.
The original tweeted early this morning was
The poem’s hearing art
Invades the human heart
Breaks open the closed whole
Of self and saves the soul.
This has a lot going for it: the rhythms of the final two lines are superior to those of the rewrite. There’s something to be said for the “natural” perhaps faux easiness of the first two lines as they lead into the crash of the last two.
The jury is out.