Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Poetry Place #1: g r a p e z

Can poetry be compared to fine wine? It takes high-quality elements in order to produce a good wine, and a good poem. The great ones get better with age. The best never get old, but only grow more and more mature, and are not only usable, but at their most delectable, centuries after their creation.

You might be able to say that g r a p e z is a bit of an extended metaphor. To be sure, not all of Greg's entries have to do with poetry; as I write this, there is a post up about music, and more than one on the recent presidential debates. But many do, and what he does with them is... well, pretty darn interesting, to say the least.

I can't even remember how long I've been following g r a p e z (probably close to 6 months? Or longer?). It was my inspiration for this project, so I figured it was only fitting to start by looking at it. The first thing you need to know is, this isn't simply someone's personal poetry page. He does put his own writing up (it's really good: look at "Bridge Construction Down to One Lane" or my favorite, "Disbanding Number One", which is much less recent, but one that stuck in my memory), and occasionally even gives us a glimpse into his own revision process, but he spends more time commenting on and analyzing other peoples' poetry. Sometimes, he'll just comment on it (see Gary Snyder's Zen Confessions), and sometimes, he'll actually pick it apart (see R S Gwynn Aces Rhyme or Something Gold Can Stay). He's able to get down to the technical grit of a poem, look at rhyme and meter and all those things that I feel aren't taught very much anymore, nor studied individually.

He will also link occasionally to articles or other blogs that talk about the craft of writing poetry. These are so useful to me, because I feel that I know very little about technique. My own education has included a lot of focus on words, but not on how to shape a poem. So something like this post about an article on tone can be really helpful.

In all, g r a p e z is a great source for intelligent analysis of poetry and the craft of creating it. I only hope I can do so well with this project.


Blogger Greg said...

I'm blushing wine-dark over here. Thank you for all the kind words. But I have no doubt your project will surpass my efforts. Again, good luck.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Angel said...

Heh... you're not the only one blushing. Thanks for the encouragement.

11:07 PM  

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