Monday, March 30, 2009

How a Poem Happens

I've really been enjoying the blog How a Poem Happens. Each blog posting includes a poem and an interview with the poet--as you might expect, the questions revolve around the creation of the poem.

Unlike at some sites, which have the same questions for each poet, I feel like I learn something new with each interview. With some sites, after a few interviews, I feel like I'm reading the same thing over and over. Not here. In fact, I've been reading it for months now and not realizing that the questions are the same.

The poets are varied, some very famous, some I'd never heard of. Likewise, the poems are varied, but so far, I haven't seen any poems that occupy the far reaches of the poetic spectrum. What I'm really saying with that statement: so far, I haven't read a poem on this site that's incomprehensible to me. You know those poems, the ones by famous people, so you feel like there's something wrong with you because you read the poem 90 times, and still you just don't get it? I used to doubt my own intellect, and then a friend said to me, "C'mon, Kris, you have a Ph.D. You're not a dumb woman. If you can't understand the poem, maybe there's something wrong with the poem, not with you."

I haven't had a chance to use this site with my Creative Writing classes, but it might be useful for students who really hunger to know the process of poem creation.

Now, if we could just have a similar site for the creation of books. I've seen several sites which explore the first book, which is useful. But I'd like a site that focuses on the creation of the book manuscript itself, not the publication/promotion process, which is what many first book sites devote the most attention to.


Serena said...

sounds like a great website recommendation...I'm going to go check it out.

Kristin said...

The interviews remind me of the ones that you do--they make me want to return to my own writing and they inspire me to keep making larger leaps.