Auden and Stravinsky
The shabby, dandruff-speckled and slightly peculiar-smelling poet could not have been more unlike the neat, sartorially perfect and faintly eau-de-cologned composer.
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One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honour to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognise its validity for themselves. W.H. Auden
Gargoyle magazine issue 64 is out including 3 poems of mine. Visit or buy your copy at www.gargoylemagazine.com. At $21.95 it is worth every penny, or should I say, cent?
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With pleasure I will torpedo the ark. - Henrik Ibsen
Richard Ford or Don DeLillo
Richard Ford has said, "I’m always interested in words, and no matter what I’m doing—describing a character or a landscape or writing a line of dialogue—I’m moved, though not utterly commanded by an interest in the sound and rhythm of the words, in addition, I ought to say, to what the words actually denote. Most writers are probably like that, don’t you think? Sometimes I’ll write a sentence that sets up an opportunity for say, a direct object or predicate adjective and I won’t have a clue what the word is except that I know what I don’t want—the conventional word: the night grew dark. I don’t want dark. I might, though, want a word that has four syllables and a long a sound in it. Maybe it’ll mean dark, or maybe it’ll take a new direction. I’ll have some kind of inchoate metrical model in my mind. One of the ways sentences can surprise their maker, please their reader, and uncover something new is that they get to the sense they make by other than ordinary logical means."
Don de Lillo says that he fixates on the shapes of letters and words, and judges each phrase for its visual appearance as well as its rhythm and clarity. He likes word combinations where one word surrounds another. Sometimes, Mr. DeLillo says, he will swap out a word for a more rhythmically appealing one, even if it alters the meaning of the sentence. He often types up a single paragraph at a time, using a clean sheet of paper for each paragraph, so that he can study the architecture of each passage in isolation.
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