All posts from the 'Quotes' category:
Hi! I'm updating this site again (and renewing my vows to post here every once in a while) after a few months of digital neglect.
I've now added a separate page for Supplication, which gathers a wealth of smart reviews -- in Bookforum, American Poets, Jacket2, and elsewhere -- plus archives some audio/video content from recent Wieners readings at City Lights Books, the SFSU Poetry Center, Harvard's Woodberry Poetry Room, Poets House, and the St. Mark's Poetry Project.
Last month, I participated in a discussion on New Narrative at the University at Buffalo (see Scholarship). The paper I presented there (on the links, or lack thereof, between John Wieners and New Narrative) will be published in a special volume on New Narrative, forthcoming in 2017 from ON Contemporary Practice.
It’s a huge job to be a poet. It’s the most essential thing there is. In terms of essence, it’s very essential. Poetry is the species. I would probably emphasize the “is.” All of our perceptual equipment is geared toward seeing us as forms, as compact forms operating on many levels—that’s like a poem. That’s who we are, that’s how we see. That’s what there is, really: there’s poetry. Prose is very, very flat. But we’re not flat. We’re dense and layered.
I believe we all work with a fundamental rupture within ourselves. What is important is to dare to know, to accept and address it through artistic means . . . What I write, what I've been able to do and to experience, is a question of being. Much more than the body, being is what torments me, if I can use the word torment for this. I mean quite simply the fact that we exist.
The poem wants to sing out, to communicate, to wake you up. The maker of the song who has this urge, this gift, sees how others are faring on the planet . . . I am not talking about an easy, therapeutic confessional poetry that just talks about how you, the personal “I,” feels. Or suffers. It’s of a higher order and command. So there’s a way—through Shakespeare, Blake, Emily Dickinson, through poetries and cosmologies of cultures all over the world—that great poetry can inspire you to care for the planet, and for all its creatures and greenery.
Poetry is inessential; the poet is inessential; I'm inessential. On the other hand, poetry is all that I am; it's all that I care about. I don't care about the essential.
Source: KCRW's Bookworm
“We’re all the same, don’t you think?” the artist Martha Rosler remarked. We were talking about Acker, whom she’d known well in San Diego during the early 1970s. “Of course we’re competitive. But that also means we can identify with her. I could’ve been Kathy; Kathy could’ve been me. I don’t know. I could’ve been you; you could’ve been me. We all could’ve been Eleanor Antin. It’s all the same. And by that I don’t mean we’re not who we are. But you know what I mean.”
Source: The Believer