Real Poetry

reviews, tips, and personal/local writing

Brief Update/Honors Thesis Update

Since I’m going to be unable to keep up with poetry reviews as much as I would like to, I thought I’d share what I’m working on that’s keeping me so busy. Some of this work is mostly boring class stuff that is irrelevant to this blog. However, I’m working on an Honors Thesis that is centered on my writing of poetry. As I mentioned previously, I’m writing a lot of material, but now I’m starting to shift my focus to the revision process. Along with this new focus, I’ve been reading tons of poetry and essays on poetry to help with both my understanding and my knowledge of poetry and its many forms.  To give a slight impression of what this process has and will entail, I’ve included the picture below of some of the books I’ve already read or will be reading.  Feel free to click to enlarge the picture.

So anyways, what this all means for the blog is, I’m going to try and post little brief updates about what I’ve been reading on Tuesdays, both to share what I’m working on and to help me to comprehend just how much I’ve retained.  For instance:

I read an article written by Tony Hoagland last night: Altitudes, a Homemade Taxonomy: Image, Diction, and Rhetoric.  It discussed three “poetic chakras” that are present to certain extents in well-written poetry, though some poets are stronger in one or the other.  If you couldn’t figure it out from the title of the article, these three “chakras” are image, diction, and rhetoric.  Simply put, poets who are stronger in image rely on the use of image as their means of conveying information; poets who lean towards the use of diction rely on word choice to provide a stronger sense of voice and character; and those who rely on rhetoric often sound preachy.  Hoagland says any one of these can be fine on its own, but that the intermingling of all three can produce some of the best poetry.  He uses Paul Goodman‘s poem “Birthday Cake” as an example of the latter.

Hope everyone has had a great start to the week,

Combat Steve

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