Wednesday, September 19, 2007

make it new

Frisbee was wonderful tonight.

I don't like not knowing where the next poem is going to come from. Last year we had to memorize all kinds of quotes like, "you are a literary workman, and ought to work every day" (I've forgotten) and "I am at my desk at 7:00 every morning and it is the muse's business to be there" (Flannery O'Connor).

But, as Abby was saying to me yesterday, when do thoughts become art? "Concentration is of the essence of poetry" (Les Imagistes) and "make it new" (Ezra Pound). There is a pounding, a trimming, a changing, a rephrasing that happens. The poetry is the communication of the idea...and I wonder if every idea can be communicated, if every idea can be made into art.

A girl in my class whose work I respect said yesterday that she thinks men are generally better poets because they don't rely on drama as much--don't have to write about cancer and being left and domestic violence, but can write about every day life and... "make it new."

I remember how Mr. Minick explained poetry to us, when he showed us the William Carlos Williams poem about the wheelbarrow-- "a poet is someone who looks at the ordinary and pulls the extraordinary from it." I suppose this is the definition of an artist. The poet does it with language, concentrates it.

But what are all these definitions, when you sit down with a laptop or a blank notebook and must write? What do they mean as you struggle to make your thoughts into art?

This is enough. The poem for tomorrow is written, I am safe for another week.

Someone on our hall keeps stocking the bathrooms with Bath and Bodyworks moisturizing hand soap. I thought it was a welcome back to school guesture, but just as the peach is running out sweet pea has arrived on the scene. These little things are like manna from heaven.

In further news, every time I come in the dorm I am now greeted by a flyer depicting a cartoon of a bride and a groom. The bride has faked an orgasm and is thinking how well she has done. The groom is thinking about how well he must have done to get such a reaction. Yay for campus housing events.