There are those who think I am very conventional and do not experiment. I ask them to consider this poem from I Sing of Bricks. It uses a counselling techinque called Johari Square.
I believe a writer has to have reasons for their choices. I’d be interested to have people’s comments on this piece.
2 responses to “An experimental poem from I Sing of Bricks”
I’m afraid the avant-garde often leaves me baffled! Some of it seems quite silly and pretentious to me. Not so your ‘Johari Whispers’ though, Angela.
Clearly there’s a grappling for wisdom here, and readers are challenged to bring their own insights and perceptions to the process. An ongoing learning process, enhancing self-knowledge.
It will perhaps be a little beyond the scope of the exercise to penetrate the great mysteries! Such is the nature of these that the harder we search, the more elusive solutions become. Our rare glimpses beyond the veil come when least expected, in moments of quiet wonder. But the desire to define, to make sense of life, to impose order upon chaos, is surely central to the creative impulse.
Experimental work invites us to look at things in new ways and find our own meaning. And of course it seeks to push the boundaries. True artists will not become complacent or satisfied with the formulaic. There’s a place for the experimental; there has to be. But so there will always be too for the more gradual, natural development of style and technique and content. And it’s the evolutionary rather than the revolutionary approach that I personally favour.
Thanks Paul, for challenging yourself to read this. I wanted to see if it was understandable, and any ‘good’ without an explanatory note, which I had decided against including in the book, because poems should stand alone.
I was using this counselling technique I picked up on a course. The first square includes what everyone knows about you, the second square reading left to right is what other people know about you that you don’t know yourself.
Coming down the page, the first square on the left is what only you knows about yourself and the final square is what no-one knows about you, not even you.
At the time I wrote it I had been through a horrible and confidence-shattering experience I will tell you about sometime, and this was part of the healing process.
The avant-garde lot will probably dislike it now I have explained it.
This is the first time this piece has been published; I put it in the book to tidy it away. I still don’t know if it is any good, but I would sooner stop publishing than ne pretentious of baffling. Last night a very high profile poet got in touch with me to tell me that he really loves my new pamphlet that is coming out soon from Rack Press – you know, the 10 poem sequence about my beloved Matt.
Thanks for following the blog. It meant a lot to me. Your comments are always so perceptive.