J.D. Salinger said

In July 1951, J.D Salinger's friend and New Yorker editor William Maxwell in Book of the Month Club News asked Salinger about his literary influences. Salinger said, “A writer, when he's asked to discuss his craft, ought to get up and call out in a loud voice just the names of the writers he loves. I love Kafka, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, Proust, O'Casey, Rilke, Lorca, Keats, Rimbaud, Burns, E. Brontë, Jane Austen, Henry James, Blake, Coleridge....."

The Catcher in the Rye

What is Poetry? What is a Poet?

These are difficult questions which have generated a variety of answers. Is it as the English poet of the Romantic tradition William Wordsworth (1770-1850) has uttered, that poetry is "a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings which takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility"? In his opinion poetry is also a source of a special variety of truth "a truth not individual and local, but general and operative". The American philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952) gives an account of artistic creativity that derives from his reflections on the varieties of experience that everyday life affords us. But in Deweys view there is an important difference between merely experiencing and "having an experience". It is the latter experience that have an aesthetic quality and an artist is one who makes experience of this sort available to others through his or her artwork. Poetry in Matthew Arnold's (1822-1888) opinion "is criticism of life", but as Dewey points out, this dictum fails to state how poetry is criticism of life. T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) a central modernist is more concerned with the complex interaction between the artist and the broad historical and cultural context of which the artist is a part, rather than emphasising the artist as a creative individual. The view on poetry in an Aesopian Fable on the other hand, goes like this: "Poems are useful: they can tell The truth by means of parable To those who are not very bright"? Anyway, we might agree with Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) that art in general, and poetry as an artform, is a form of communication, and the best art has the capacity to bind humanity together in a brotherhood of common feelings. He says: "Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously by means of certain external signs, hands on to other feelings he has lived through, and that others are infected by these feelings and also experience them" (From What is Poetry?).

Women and Poetry

Is a man more likely to be a genius than a woman? Why have there been no great women artists? Some have argued that the rarity of great female artist is in fact an illusion: that there have been plenty of them, but that they have been ignored, with the result that they and their work have disappeared from history. Others have argued that the true greatness of women artists is a peculiar female greatness: again, then, it is not that there have been no great female artists but rather their greatness has not been recognized by what have all been male-dominated institutions.

torsdag 10. mai 2007

How to Make a Dadaist Poem

To make a Dadaist poem:
Take a newspaper.
Take a pair of scissors.
Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag.
Shake it gently.
Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag.
Copy conscientiously.
The poem will be like you.
And here are you a writer, infinitely original and endowed with a sensibility that is charming though beyond the understanding of the vulgar. --Tristan Tzara

two poems by Emily Dickinson

The Brain--is wider than the Sky--
For--put them side by side--
The one the other will contain
With ease--and You--beside

The Brain is deeper than the sea--
For--hold them--Blue to Blue--
The one the other will absorb--
As Sponges--Buckets--do--

The Brain is just the weight of God--
For--Heft them--Pound for Pound--
And they will differ--if they do--
As Syllable from Sound--

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant--
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind--