Poetry appreciation . . . or "one great idea deserves another."


Actually, to be fair, we should probably let William 
speak for himself at this juncture:

"The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place  . . ." 
Wm. Wordsworth

Now that's just lovely, isn't it?

I've been having a wonderful time getting my poetry groove on again after a too-long hiatus, and the experience has been made even better by the invention of the internet while I was on break, because I can share my work and enjoy others' with such minimal effort!

No more pounding them out on my manual typewriter, making photocopies, and having to pay university tuition (although it was admittedly MUCH cheaper then) to get someone to read my poems.

And I am just delighted to find that there are so many other closet poets in the world.  It  makes you wonder what other amazing things your neighbors are capable of that you might never suspect.

What goes on inside this house?  Anything else we should know about?

Reading people's poetry feels, to me, 
just like "leaning my ear in many a secret place . . ."

One of the poets whose work I've come 
to enjoy most over at Magpie Tales 

The poet creates "found" poems using words from vintage books in the old fashioned cut-and-paste method.  Each poem is found within a single book.  I find her imagery to be just beautiful, and of course I'm naturally drawn to anyone who cuts up old texts to use in their work.

(Her needlework is very cool as well, btw -- icing on the cake! -- 
and you can check it out at her etsy shop.)

I wish I'd thought of creating my poems this way first . . . how could I have overlooked such a splendid and, for me, OBVIOUS idea?  I guess I'm just not as smart as I think I am.

It reminded me of this Small Works Wednesday Rerun  book review  (that I hope you'll enjoy again) -- if you remember the review but haven't picked up the book, do so now!

So from November 2008, here's . . .  

a revelation that has come too late. 

Did you know someone had written an entire novel by cutting and pasting old women's magazines from the 1950's-1960's? First of all, I didn't know anyone but me was still "doing" actual cutting and pasting anymore (I tried explaining what it was to a kid working at Kinko's the other day and I can't even describe the vacant expression I got in return) and secondly, surely no one has spent more time devouring old women's magazines than I have and if someone were going to publish a novel as a result of that hobby, surely it should be a wannabe writer like myself.

But Graham Rawle thought of it first. And what's the point of building the Watts Towers if they've already been built? Some things you just have to be the first to think of. And I didn't.

Anyway, it's an awesome book and a true labor of love. He took 5 years crafting it -- he describes the process in some detail at the end of the book. He first wrote the story, then went through and replaced every single word with a word he snipped. Some descriptions he altered to use old ad copy, resulting in wonderfully quirky images that are just amazing to read.

He had his mother help him by clipping and filing words (I thought that was quite endearing -- she probably read the same magazines the first time around) so he could fill them in later. Every page number (over 400!) was also clipped, and that may be the most miraculous thing of all because finding numbers isn't that easy. All I can say is, I know how long it takes me to find the words I want sometimes, and I truly am in awe of the love required to spend 5 years finding 400 pages of them. Graham Rawle, I salute you!

Woman's World is a fantastic read, and I believe it's now out in paperback (although I got my hardback copy on Amazon used books for under $3.00! Highway robbery! And I'm really sorry, Graham, because I would have been willing to pay much more . . . the price I paid in no way reflects my admiration for you. But what a deal!)

I should probably warn my more sensitive readers that there is cross-dressing involved. It is highly justifiable cross-dressing, but it is cross-dressing nonetheless.

If anyone else reads it, please let me know what you think.
We can have blog-book-club! (say that fast three times)

I just hope to have an idea that good 
once in my life. Just once!

Anybody got any really great ideas 
they want to get rid of?



luanne said...

It's so maddening when someone does something creative & fresh, and perhaps it even becomes a "big thing" and it's just an extra step-or-two beyond what you(I)thought of your(my)self.

Ah, so many near-hits -- so little time.

But at least there's that private satisfaction of knowing we *almost* did it.

p.s. your poems are brilliant, no cut & paste required.

Leenie said...

A closet poet's life is so much easier as you say. Even if no one sees your efforts they look so much better on a blog page with fun fonts and some colors. I don't miss that manual typewriter and carbon paper...nope not one bit.

I'm looking forward to checking out your poetry.

And the cut and paste novel is truly a novel idea.

Allie said...

I love poetry - Tennyson is my all-time fave. John Masefield is a close second.
The novel sounds very intriguing - but oh darn, everytime I think of something someone else has already done it!
I used to be a closet poet....

susan m hinckley said...

LuAnne, I happen to know you're a bit of a closet poet yourself . . . at least I'm fairly certain you posted a lovely little poem on your blog awhile ago . . . I don't think I imagined it . . ?

Leenie, You're absolutely right! Hooray for blog pages that you can fill up with colorful stuff to boost the power of your words. I wonder if they're teaching college blogging workshops now? I would like to get a degree in it. (psst -- It's called an "addiction").

Allie, Ha! Now you're completely busted. Once a poet, always a poet. I shan't stop hounding you until I see some of those glorious words and images. Be warned!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin