Monday, August 29, 2016

Anna to Chrysogonus (from FB Messenger)

I just posted another poem that connects to your recent ones. That theme of home and homecoming is a very rich theme I think. Home the place, home the nest, the belonging thing, the acceptance thing. It's kind of interesting to think about trying to mentor someone like you who is very accomplished. What could I possibly say that you wouldn't already know? But I'm plunging ahead anyway. You already have an individual style, your own unique footprint. It has a sparseness and ordinariness that I like. It avoids being laden with all those obvious poetic tropes, so avoids cliché too. From the Western viewpoint though, because your ordinariness includes things that are unfamiliar to people living in different countries, it is intriguing. But I like lists of ordinary things anyway.

Do you write from ideas, from sensations, from feelings, within themes, trying out specific forms, any of those? If you're moving forward in your poetry writing, what is the impetus? Kit is writing villanelles at the moment. It's a kind of endless form that can just keep going over time and across place, that suits him. I see his work as like one continuous poem. 

What is the relationship between your translation work and your own writing? 

I sometimes set myself a task that can generate a few poems, a sequence. I see other writers doing it too but when I do it I get bored pretty quickly, so I imagine a reader would as well. I wrote a sequence of 10 poems called Ideas for Novels over a period of a year or so. I then started rewriting each one as prose text, called that Novels from Ideas. They're only short, not novels! There are so many ways to move forward. I think that the way to improve is to keep doing it, keep trying out directions that appeal to you. I've enjoyed writing in various forms and that's something they often advise in creative writing courses. You've probably done that type of thing. 

Do you want me to comment on individual poems that you post on 366 every day? That one #28 is similar to a villanelle, that endless 3 line stanza. Do you see your audience as local or international? It seems to me that you're kind of explaining your own cultural customs to a Western reader, as most of the 366 writers/readers are. That's an observation, not a criticism. In that poem the final line jars with me a bit, is a bit obvious. Because of the endlessness of villanelle, you could continue that work some more. Sometimes you can find an ending naturally by continuing rather than by inserting an obvious closure. Being 'in' the process of the poem and valuing the process is really important I think.

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