Friday, April 16, 2010

poetry, daily: 12

Well, we're more than halfway now, so thank you if you're still hanging on and doing this daily practice. It's no easy thing, that's for sure.

A thought on critique: For serious writers, when looking at another writer's work, the question does not become 'is this the thing that should be done?' but 'what is this thing I have here?'--not 'is it working?' but 'how is it working?'. Once these questions are resolved, the writer and her critics will be in a position to interrogate the workings and make substitutions, if necessary.

Good peer review examines what is on the page explicitly and thereby examines the potential (what could be there if the author changes things, or what would be there if you were the author). It doesn't make what doesn't exist the focus of its study. I'm not talking about rejecting the conditional or future tenses when talking about the poem, but about basing any projections on what is there, rather than on what I-critic might personally desire. How is the thing in front of me working and how can I make it better? The engineer doesn't say the bicycle should be a light socket, but might incorporate some function of the latter into the former, if necessary (like to light the way at night!).

And ask, maybe: What can this poem teach my practice?

the light was beautiful and it was warm

Writing exercise: Write a poem about something lost in interrogatives, rather than declaratives.

See you Monday.


All work here © 2010 and onward to me, Eireann Lorsung. Please do not reproduce my words in any form in print or online. If you wish to excerpt parts from the month of poetry featured here, please contact me: ohbara at gmail dot com.

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Blogger shari said...

hi eireann.
i'm so happy that you are sharing these prompts with us. i'm looking forward to starting from the beginning this weekend. thank you friend.

April 16, 2010 6:13 PM  
Blogger lisa s said...

eireann - these are WONDERFUL posts. i wish i had time/energy/confidence to give your writing exercises a try....

i love the critique thoughts. those apply to visual arts too....

April 17, 2010 3:32 AM  
Blogger Eireann said...

hi shari and lisa,

i'm glad you're enjoying them! lisa, i hope sometime you will just try--that's the idea, that they are not (only) for people who already have a writing practice or who write 'well', but for people who DON'T have that or people who want to develop it. :)

thanks both of you for your comments.

April 19, 2010 9:09 AM  

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