Monday, October 24, 2005

More Thoughts on Lyric

I find myself drifting away from narrative types of poetry, from incident-triggered poetry toward this kind of vaguely experimental lyric. Not experimental like avant-garde experimental. I was wondering if the lyric form is a stave against entropy--a lot of definitions of it as something that expresses a moment in time, presents a certain stillness as it were.

But all things tend toward entropy and decay. In fact, that is the theme of one of the most famous English language lyrics: Herrick's "Gather Ye Rosebuds". "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may/While time is still a-flying/This same flower that thrives today/Tomorrow will be dying"--or something like that. I have undoubtedly substituted some incorrect words in the metrical scheme, as I tend to do that with stuff I have imperfectly memorized--don't have the book in front of me. Too lazy to walk a few steps to get it--besides, I reorganized my office, installed new bookshelves and all the books are thrown on helter-skelter. After my class is in hiatus, I will organize them so I can actually find things.

Lyric seems to me lately, not as a prescription or a general rule, but as a matter of personal process, it seems to me lately as a tension between phonic/sonic order (repeated sounds, refrains, etc.) and syntactic disorder (lack of punctuation, odd juxtapositions of diction, a-grammatical [is that a word? ungrammatical? I rather like agrammatical] syntax, or barely so. The poem can make emotional progress, yet stay still in a way because of that tension between the sense of sound and the spaces in the illogical sense.

On another note, I am finally getting work published! I have two poems coming out in Colorado Review in the spring 2006 issue, another poem coming out in Tigertail 2006 (a South Florida annual, this one on poetry & place), and another coming out in The New Hampshire Review (an online journal) in their Fall 2005 issue. I will provide a link to the NHR when the new issue is out.

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