Friday, June 25, 2010

poke in the eye? punch in the nose? The point of poetry

The point of poetry is to be acutely discomforting, to prod and provoke, to poke us in the eye, to punch us in the nose, to knock us off our feet, to take our breath away." Paul Muldoon (b. 1951, Northern Ireland)

No wonder poetry is hard work. Hard to read. (Who wants to be poked in the eye?) Hard to write. You need to be in top form, fighting fit to deliver those punches and pokes and prods... to take the breath away...

And it doesn't let you in quick. You have to work for it. Whether reading it, or writing it.

But that's what makes it so powerful.

Kind of the way with most things--at least the important things. The more it costs, the more precious it. The harder it is to climb the mountain, the more amazing the view from the top.

photos (of course) by Ansel Adams

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