Tuesday, September 25, 2007

one word

I used to write poems that reveled in brevity, poems that maxed out at three lines, three short lines, even. They weren't easy to write, unless they came to me entirely whole, already created out of the ether. Those were lovely, to be sure, but the majority of them were heavily polished little gems, careful creations masquerading as feats of inspiration.

Sometimes, the titles were longer than the poems. Other times, the titles were the only things shorter. Sometimes, they just had numbers. Lately, I can't write like that, but this delightful post (found via Bookslut) about short poems reminds me of how satisfying it was.

Last night, we were talking about The Fear of Losing Eurydice and AVA, because I'm re-reading the first and always thinking about the latter, and because there is a resonance between them that I was trying to explain. I think it boils down to this: each sentence in each book is as dense and vivid and carefully self-contained as one of these poems. Even in Eurydice, where they're not set apart visually, each sentence is a separate revelation, a discrete and lovely work that is linked thematically but not grammatically to the surrounding text.

Last night, I said they were similar "flights of language," a phrase I meant to reference the irresistibly infectious quality of flights of fancy, but also the delicious experience of flights of wine: words that take wing, and words that allow you to taste a range of ideas and images. Each word a rare bird.

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