Friday, February 8, 2013

Journal Entry: January 19, 1996

I do not write poems in order to have all the marvelous theories about them intrude on their making. Nor do I write poems in order that I might, in Marvin Bell's words, "stamp out my mind." But it is the constant intrusion of theory that spoils the act of writing most for me. Each word is criticized as I write it.

In prose, with its headlong push to communicate ideas, this problem does not arise. The words fall as they will with half as much thought in them as the ones that fall in lines. This must mean that prose is more natural to me.

And yet it is poetry I fix upon, perhaps because it is the greater challenge, because it engages language more directly, because it moves, because it demands more of me to reach something... that will not be found otherwise.

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