2009-03-23 23:14:52 UTC
“The technical development of a lyric poet is normally from obscurity
to simplicity. As long as he is writing primarily for himself, his
thoughts will be rooted in private associations, image which are
linked to ideas through his own private imagery. This is not his
fault: he can write only what takes shape in his mind. (*) It is his
job to keep on writing and not get stuck at that point, above all not
to rationalize any failure to advance by asserting that one must write
this way in an unpoetic age.....
“Then he is likely to pass through a social, allegorical, or
metaphysical phase, an awkward and painful phase for all concerned.
Finally, a mysterious but unmistakable ring of authenticity begins to
come into his writing, and simultaneously the texture simplifies,
meaning and imagery become transparent, and the poetry becomes a
pleasure instead of a duty to read. It takes a heroic supply of
talent, practice, patience, and courage to get to that point.”
(The Bush Garden, Northrop Frye, Anansi 1971, 22-23)
(*) [This was written before the appearance of the Houstman poetry
generator. - GD].