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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Accuracy & Clarity


"Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear." ~ Ezra Pound

This is a most interesting statement in that to me I want to split down the middle falling on both sides. On one hand I heartily agree. And if we are speaking literally of language itself, yes! But just as we should strive for efficiency and clarity in language usage, I don't believe that mean we have to be so ridged with our poetry as Ted Koozer would have us all be.

I myself like a little mysticism left between the lines. I like to have to read a poem over and over. That is where discovery comes. If I read a poem once and can say, "Oh, that was nice. I understand completely," then I quite often feel cheated. There is no stretching of the mind. No room for revelation or discovery. Sure concise language is important, but not everything has to be written as though it were for remedial consumption.

Yes, there are exceptions. There are poems that are straight forward that I like very much and some of my own have been written in a fashion the Koozer's of the world would feel much more comfortable with. But these poems must say something all the more exceptional.

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