Sunday, February 25, 2007

Writer with a capital W

This weekend was long, inspiring, nauseous, enlightening, disheartening, etc.
The drugs left me very tired and uncomfortably cramped. A small wager to pay for what could have been, and what pray tell have I ignited?
I can't go back, and I can't say that I'd want to, but can one understand the weight of their decision without a timely retrospective? For now I'll be giddy like a school girl and think heavy opaque later.

Went to IWU's Tongue & Ink undergrad writing conference with a wonderful friend.
It was a cold adventure.
I was exposed to some amazing poetry and creative energy. Conflicting though (but what knowledge isn’t?). One session touted the benefits of the MFA program and another touted the benefits of running as far away from the academy as creatively possible. What path then will I chose? Who the hell knows! I was moved more often than rendered bored, so I call that a success.

Kent Johnson, the keynote speaker for Saturday read an excerpt of The Night by Jaime Saenz. The man read this poem with an ethereal passion and a perfect Spanish accent (mind you he is quite academic anglo in appearance). All of a sudden Spanish, the language of my father, reels me in and knocks me over. It’s beauty and history and family all rolled into an exotic ball. Another call to brush up on my language skills.

Johnson also read a harrowing original poem about the ills of Abu Ghraib and the “war on terror.” You can read Lyric Poetry After Auschwitz, or: "Get the Hood Back On" here, but you won’t get the full effect of Kent’s fantastic (and spine tingling) voice. . This man is quite talented.

This weekend led me back to the question I constantly find myself pondering: Beyond entertainment, what is the validity of literature, poetry, et al? More specifically or rather a sub-question, is literature dead?
In today’s blog I summon the words of Syrian expatriate poet Adonis:
To save itself, poetry will need to progressively espouse the unknown eternal truths and refuse again and again to be regimented from the outside by any kind of ideology, system, or institution....[P]oetry will have to advance by exploring regions the invader cannot reach....[T]he traditional view of the poem cannot survive, it will have to be transformed in its very structure. Just as the traditional concept of poetry has already broadened to exceed the limits of traditional forms of speech, so, in order to resist the utilitarian goals which nearly strangled it this century, in order to escape ideology, the structure of poetic language will have to open itself to more movement, and move always toward a concept of the total poem.
With that stated Adonis brings up many points which force me to question my roles in consuming and creating poetry. How can I create a body of work that is relevant, meaningful, and progressive? I have a long (long long) way to go, but without the assurance and motivation I would never even start my journey. Or would I?

I’ve begun to take on the obscene task of preparation of the GREs so from now own this blog will include … a word of the day. Ew. Any tips on cracking the GRE?

For good measure, and to set a steady pattern we will start with two words! Lucky you!

garrulous: Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin garrulus, from garrire to chatter -- more at CARE
1 : given to prosy, rambling, or tedious loquacity : pointlessly or annoyingly talkative
2 : WORDY 1
synonym see TALKATIVE

Function: noun
: one of two or more homographs (as a bass voice and bass, a fish) that differ in pronunciation and meaning

P.S. I totally shouldn’t have had to look up heteronym!

Why are these glorious men no longer making music?

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