Friday, December 21, 2007

I like my limericks rare and my sonnets well Donne...


I hunger for the taste of hot, fierce art.
Something Yeatsy, with a gut-kick ending;
or Donneish, with a batter-my-heart-fierce-start.
The cool taste rules, and no use pretending:
a common recipe involves the blending
of wry-dry whimsy with refined despair.
Add a pale dash of sweet wist to the ending
and you feel like you just ate a plateful of air!
Give me a Hopkins-like-tongue-searing-prayer!
a sour taste of Hope, or dark seasoned Hardy
meditating life on a cold-stone-stair!
Chili-hot meats from the Devil’s party,
cellar-cold wines laced with cinnamon spice
taste best, like a Yeats-fierce dawn over ice.

- Mark Allinson

I just found this on the "Deep End" forum at Eratosphere. I don't know whether this is the final version, but I couldn't agree more with its exclamations. I share this poet's taste for chili and cinnamon - how do we escape from the "cool taste" that comes so easily just now?


Anonymous said...

I wish to attempt an answer to your question.

I think this results from a failure to distinguish Art (the real thing) from its tools, its components, its media.

Take sound. If it's too quiet it goes beneath the threshold. If too loud, it is simply noise, and ultimately pain. If too indistinct in tone again it is noise, if lacking in rhythm, it isn't even a clock, or a pneumatic drill. If TOO extensive in variety, it is just as cluttered as noise.

Here to strengthen my point I find I must switch my analogy.

Consider the novice would-be publisher, of so many magazines these days, yes, and web sites. They have dozens, hundreds of fonts. Lacking Art, they switch fonts every heading, every paragraph, every sentence. This is called "ransom-note typography" - it is horrible. Forgotten is the fact that the font must not obscure what is being written - and so, like a web page overcrowded with graphics, it communicates NOTHING.

Again, it is the keyboardist with several hundred stops (or whatever they are called on electronic synthesizers) who cannot find a use for one sound, nor combine (by comparison or by contrast) several.

But to turn to the matter of poetry: one must have SOMETHING to say. A thesaurus, like any other tool, can help from time to time - but unless there is an IDEA to express, a variety of vocabulary shows only as tool-marks on block of marble - the carven image has not yet been found.

There is no reasoned feeling - there is either the subliminal or the overpowering, the monotonously dull, or the chaotic variety.

That, then, is no garden. It is an overgrown jungle, or a barren desert.

--Dr. Thursday

PS I apologise, for if I had time I would put this into a poem. I feel it intensely, or I do at the moment from your posting. But if poets refuse to use their brains why should anyone else? It's the brain which moves the fingers - be they moving pen or brush or keys - NOT the heart, nor any lower organ.

Anonymous said...

it is great thing.