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Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Poet's Moments


"I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on." ~Rita Dove

Moments...

The concept of a moment I believe means so much to poetry. We often hold onto, whatever it is we capture, within the framework of some indefinite period of time, but it is generally considered to be a small segment.

A noun, I see a moment as both a place and a thing. As a place it is some point within a continuum. As a thing, it is an arbitrary period of time.

What I believe gives particular meaning to moment or moments within the context of poetry is that they are so often characterized by some quality.

If you consider a poem to be a snapshot (and I often feel it is) of sorts, then that very word picture that we strive to recreate is very often predicated on some moment. A loving touch, a dying breath, an intimate kiss, that first cry after coming into the world, the hawk in mid-flight, a moment of terror in the midst of a war.

I like to think that as poets what we are often doing is taking into account some moment and saying about it, "hold that thought!"




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