it's hard enough to create a poem

I think the notion of a poetic project may actually be very toxic to poetry. And toxic to poetry not only in the way that it is bad for the poets who are living and working in the context of poetry today, but toxic to the new, burgeoning poets among us. And the future ones, who are yet to be. The term "project" seems to suggest that a poet can set about his life path knowing what he is doing at all times. And to tell a young poet that is to make him feel like he has to know how to create both a project and a poem. It's hard enough to create a poem. If he is destined to be a great poet, he will never know what his project really was, no matter what he says it is, was, or what he might imagine it could be. Which is to say that a poem, as a thing, resists being talked about linearly in its very nonlinearity. In its very nonlinear life.

- Dorothea Lasky, from her sharp little chapbook, "Poetry is Not a Project."


daniela elza said...

Oooh, I have to see more of this.

Rob Taylor said...

I've got a copy. If I make it home before the reading, I'll bring it for you to borrow on Sunday.

Zachariah Wells said...

Hear. Hear.