Friday, September 19, 2003

Thoughts on closure

Crag Hill's poetry scorecard takes a look at the end of poems. When I saw this, I was immediately drawn into it, because I once had a poem critiqued by someone who told me that poems should end in single syllable words. Of course there may be legitimate reasons for this, but the rebellious person inside directing my life really isn't found of being told things in absolutes. Particularly when it comes to art and other expressive things. That is so limiting.

In Crag Hill's blog, he expresses a liking to ends of poems that assert. This certainly has it's place and I'm with Crag totally when he talks about an ending that leaves him with "one chunk of thought or image." This can be quite effective, but not always desirable.

I've written poems that contrastingly end abruptly. Intentionally so. One such poem was Cerebral Cobwebs. The final stanza of this poem I wrote sometime back reads...

Has my mind become fragmented...
Is my memory obsolete?
Are there cobwebs in this mind of mine...
What was I thinking?

The poem ends as if I totally lost my train of thought. Crag Hill supports this idea too.

Hill points out that our lives are absent of closure and so it is befitting that our poetry should often reflect this. I'm all for flexibility in how we end our poems. Meaty thoughts are at time warranted. Something we can sink our teeth into and feel or see. Sometimes that one syllable work is perfect. Sometimes not. The expressive nature this art dictates that we flow with the message and not rigidly adhere to some stock ending.
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