Real Poetry

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Archive for the category “Honors Thesis”

Update on Blog Content

Hey all you budding poets/lovers of poetry out there,

I apologize for the sparse updates over the past month, but I’ve been nearing my graduation from college and that has taken center stage for my life at the moment.  I recently finished presenting my Honors Thesis at a symposium for my school.  It was entitled “Poetry: A Practice in Revision” and involved a rather lengthy (for me) discussion of my work on poetry throughout this semester.  I received a lot of positive feedback after the presentation and Q&A were finished, and it gave me several ideas for potential tips for the blog.

Now, as I’ll be graduating in a little under two weeks, I am going to be putting more updates on the blog soon.  So I hope you can make do till then.  If you have anything you’d like to see on the blog (a new segment, more of an old segment, etc.) just comment on this post and let me know.

Goodbye for now,

Stephen Recker

p.s. I took the above picture while hiking in the woods behind my school.  This was the only flower blooming in a large cactus patch.  Thought I’d share the image with you all.

Quick Quotes from Reading

So I’ve been reading some William Stafford, as I mentioned recently. Most notably, in his book Writing the Australian Crawl, there were a few quotes that really stood out to me both as a reader and writer of poetry.

“There are things, you know, human things, that depend on commitment; poetry is one of those things.”

“A reader is a person who picks up signals and enters a world in language under the guidance of an earlier entry made by a writer.”

and my favorite quote from the book so far:

“What one has written is not to be defended or valued, but abandoned: others must decide significance and value.”

Other than that I had an exciting purchase for myself recently; I finally got something for filing my poems and other creative writing.  I’ve got it pictured below with the William Stafford book resting against it.

Hope everyone is having a pretty nice week.  I’ve got some interesting poetry I’ve been working on the past few days that I’m excited to share some of on Thursday.

Combat Steve


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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