Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The perfect lyric poem

Nothing came today. I've been here 3 hours and nothing. I even tried to do the exercise that we have been set for a special workshop next week in the hope that exercises are limiting and therefore easy, but nope. Which I guess goes to show that the only thing stopping me writing is me. The little voice that whispers crap and reaches for the delete button.

I read some more Jorie Graham though and Michael Palmer. I've finally finished The Lion Bridge after, I think, about 18 months. Which, for me at least, has got to be some kind of record.

We are discussing Helen's reading package this afternoon about science and writing which should be interesting seeing as I've had a bit of science and software engineering background. I think it is quite a complicated issue, made more complicated by the fact that science isn't just one thing and can range from the naming of plants (botany) to the such hugely complex and unmeasurable theoretical concepts that they can only be represented by massive computer models (quantum physics?). It seems there is some space for poetry to meddle in there, but I would suggest it is more at one end of that spectrum than the other. That's not to say poetry can't try of course and can't dream. In fact I think poetry's ability to dream and make random, surprising connections is where sometimes it's strength lies with regards to science. It has the power of sci-fi, which I guess is the romantic end of science, where the ideas are born and before the real, nitty-gritty and (usually) mundane work is done. But who's to say someone can't write the perfect lyric poem that describes all the intricacies of string theory in some kind of perfect vortex of language?

I also read the thing I wrote yesterday that was kind of spawned from a Wallace Steven's line and it seems reasonably interesting. I might have to do that again. He seems like one of those writers who writes nice open, philosophical one-liners that a ripe for quoting and reinterpreting.

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