“The distinction between a poem that shows confidence in itself and in its materials, and on the other hand a performance, a speech by the poet, is the distinction between poetry and histrionics.”
– George Oppen
There will be a back-peddling on this blog; a movement in reverse. This regards poetry, Modern Poetry to be exact. You see, as we get deeper into ModPo, my lack of academic education in Writing or English ( I was an Anthropology/Animal Ecology student) is becoming the proverbial albatross. Call me Ancient Mariner, who fears her boat may never escape the vast sea of context. Since this blog’s readership comes in spurts, I feel safe that there shall be no lurker left in the cold if waiting for the next Al Filreis & crew update.**
What shall be the writerly objective: to understand Modern Poetry in regards to its history, movements, poets, and art form. The above Oppen quote was taken from a poetic theory essay via Poetry Foundation. It is five pages, so for the next five days I shall highlight what seems ‘ah-ha’ information. If you are reading this; if you know the answer to something I question or something I’ve assumed incorrectly, do comment — free speech is a wonderful thing, indeed.***
<em>They meant to replace by the data of experience the accepted poetry of their time, a display by the poets of right thinking and right sentiment, a dreary waste of lies. That data was and is the core of what “modernism” restored to poetry, the sense of the poet’s self among things. So much depends upon the red wheelbarrow.
A wonderful statement with reference to WCW red whellbarrow. Now, who can explain What depends on the red wheelbarrow? Is it the rain? Is it the white chicken? These things are not to mean anything beyond being object, or are they? Is WCW a part of that poem…are you..am I?
It seems from this first page of Oppen’s essay, the Modernist wish to remove conjecture, to use the found in everyday life to convey the truth. ‘Reality’ has been lost as the word can no longer be defined.
My reality — I’ve very confused, so much so, I don’t know if I shall ever be able to write another poem again. TBC ~
**As time allows, I shall post this Oppen series with updates on ModPo for the next five days.
*** Free speech I love; trolls I do not, ergo, yes, comments to enter moderation first.