Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Morning Quote: Gray Jacobik on Technique

Principles of technique? My technique consists of writing the best sentences I can write, trying to vary type and length of sentences, adding as much rhyme, consonance, alliteration, and assonance as I can without sounding too obviously poetic. Then I spent a lot of time searching for synonyms that might be more interesting, more precise or more musical than my first word choices. I know that I stop myself a few times and ask whether or not I've got something to say; any central idea. The ideological level of poem making is important to me. I don't care for poems that carry only impressions or sensations and little or not thought. I try to make sure there's at least one line that aims at what I like to think of as the intellectual underpinning of the poem. Lastly, after everything else has settled down, I begin shaping the poem into lines and form, although some lines, as lines, form themselves from the beginning. This is a simplification, of course, since thousands of decisions, some conscious, far many more unconscious, are made while writing a poem; at least that's my sense of things.

Gray Jacobik, interviewed in Brian Brodeur's excellent blog, How a Poem Happens

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