Thursday, April 11, 2013

Replying to Poetry Unfettered by Leonard Clark

Flip back the pages of time. Back. Back. Back. I'm attending the university of Winnipeg. I have an assignment due for the Children's Literature course. The professor has request I read and comment on Leonard Clark's Poetry Unfettered. Twenty-something me writes and submits...

I must admit that I had doubts about the significance of poetry. I have read poems which left me feeling incompetent. These poems were described by English teachers as being good examples of great poems. I could see nothing great about them. Due to my experience, then, I ruled out poems for children.

Leonard Clark, however, has challenged me to take a new look at poems. He describes poets as having their heads in the clouds but their feet firmly on the ground. He says that poets write the way we would write if we had the skill. They take the ordinary and make it seem special. The last line of his article, Poetry Unfettered especially interest me. He writes:  'poetry and science together equals magic.' I am a firm believer in magic for children. Especially the magic and wonder of everyday life. If this what poetry is really trying to do, I ma interested in rediscover it.

The professor feedback:

A- (82)

'the magic and wonder of everyday life' - This is a fascinating phrase. I wish you'd explain it further.

This is a good account of your response to critical article. It makes a few points, but makes them well. There is an assumption you make about childhood (or life in general?) underlying such statements as the one I've noted above that might be worth trying to explicate. Knowing just what assumptions/perspectives/prejudices one has always makes for stronger readings of literary works.

Every Thursday, for the entire month of April, we will celebrate Poetry
Please visit this site:  The League of Canadian Poets

Oops, sorry, we'll take a small break next Thursday from celebrating poetry. So that you can come with me to the New West Lit Fest. But I plan to end the month with poetry.
Sharing my author journey...

When you are new to your author career, as I am, it’s a good idea to take the time to figure out how you work. What working conditions yield the best results? What challenges do you face? How can you overcome them? For example, I have trouble compartmentalizing. I can’t live in my head when I’m living in my body. So when I’m living a socially engaged week—like this one—I find it hard to focus on my manuscripts. Does this mean I lay my pen down? No. I keep writing. But I write articles for my blog instead of narration; emails instead of dialogue. It’s all writing. It all helps improve my craft. And, I firmly believe, to have a fulfilling career you need to have a fulfilling life.

This all changed this morning at 6 AM when I wrote a new scene. Hurray! I wonder if justifying my inability to write freed me up to write?
Next post:  Please welcome Author Elizabeth Ruth