Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The Portable Poetry Workshop: Connecting Content - Syntactical Transitions
In this section, Jack Myers presents the poet as architect and illustrates the various methods one can employ in making connections and "building" a poem. There is hypotaxis, in which "the ordering of content proceeds through conventional forms of logic and the conventions of syntax, grammar, and language as a medium, and there is parataxis (or juxtaposition), which is "based more on the unconscious, associative kinds of connections."
More important than the technical descriptions and examples presented in this section is Myers' asking the reader to imagine a sign over the writer's "workshop" engraved with the timeless quote, "Writing is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration." He then offers a competing quote of John Keats', "If poetry comes not as naturally as leaves to the tree then it had better not come at all."
Instead of focusing on the architecture of a poem in this post, I want to focus on the inspiration behind the architect. What does the sign hanging over your "workshop" read? Does a poem/story/work of art build itself in your workshop or do you build it?