Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Poetics?

Of course, "A Poetics" is a concept that is easy to renegotiate. What is it? What do we mean when we say it?

Andrew Shields is thinking about this in profitable ways.

So what do I think of when I hear "a poetics"? To me, "a poetics" sounds complete. Sonds after.

I think of a poet having “a poetics” while writing, the same as having a destination while taking a stroll. Destinations tend to destroy the idea of the stroll. Ammons said that. Or something like that. The stroll does, indeed, end (one would hope). But that’s not the point.

I understand I’m getting dangerously close to singing “stop and smell the roses . . . “

I think of it as a form of literalizing theory. Literalizing theory is always a reductive endeavor, as it, even in a radical theory, reduces the aspects of the art that do not conform to the theory. Some might consider this a good thing, a move to unity, but it can also be too successfully a move to unity. Both during and after the fact of composition.

Theories always blunt the objects they attempt to explain. Anything worthy of a theory is thereby damaged by that theory.

There’s a wonderful little story by Orson Scott Card, a little scifi story called, if I remember correctly, “Unaccompanied Sonata.” I read it years ago, but it fried itself into my brain. It's more about influence than a poetics, but it comes to mind.


At 12/17/2006 8:04 AM, Blogger Andrew Shields said...

I'm delighted that my comments are being appreciated!


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home