This is a lightly reworked reissue of my September, 2012 column for Gather.com on the topic of Abstract and Cubist Poetry. I also urge you to read our recent SunWinks! columns on Edith Sitwell and Intrinsic Rhythm and Cubism as these three columns all encourage you to sharpen your sense of the sound, rhythm, and structure of your writing by putting aside considerations of meaning.
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Well, we’re all done with modern poetry. I’ve exhausted every conceivable topic, every possible technique. There’s nothing left to talk about. Just go back through my previous columns and you’ll know everything there is to know about writing modern poetry.
Did I have you going for a second?
The fact is, there is no end to the invention, the creativity, and the variety of modern poetry and approaches to modern poetry. Think of how many stylistic genres and individual styles there are in modern painting, to name just one medium. Think for just a moment about the unique visions of Monet, Mondrian, Matisse, Miro, Grandma Moses, and M.C. Escher.
As I’ve said, and tried to demonstrate, poetry is much more than sentiment, short lines, and end rhymes. The techniques that can be used to communicate the very special, intimate truth that lives in the poetic imagination are as rich and variegated as the colors in the artist’s palette, or the harmonic colors in the music composer’s palette.
Now I’m inviting you to go wild. Let loose. Be creative. Pull out all the stops. Put all the leftovers into the stew. Throw the paint onto the wall. Play the piano without the music—with your fists, even. Continue reading