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शनिवार, 19 जनवरी 2013

How To (and How Not To) Write Poetry Wisława Szymborska

How To (and How Not To) Write Poetry
Advice for blocked writers and aspiring poets from a Nobel Prize winner’s newspaper column.
To Heliodor from Przemysl: “You write, ‘I know my poems have many faults, but so what, I’m not going to stop and fix them.’ And why is that, oh Heliodor? Perhaps because you hold poetry so sacred? Or maybe you consider it insignificant? Both ways of treating poetry are mistaken, and what’s worse, they free the novice poet from the necessity of working on his verses…..”
To Mr.K.K from Byton: “You treat free verse as a free-for –all. But poetry (whatever we may say) is, was and will always be a game. And as every child knows, all games haves rules. So why do grown-ups forget?”
To Mr. Pal-Zet of Skarysko-Kam: “The poems you’ve sent suggest that you’ve failed to perceive a key difference between poetry and prose. For example, the poem entitled ‘Here’ is merely a modest prose description of a room and the furniture it holds. In prose such description perform a specific function: they set the stage for the action to come, In a moment the doors will open, someone will entre, and something will take place. In poetry the description itself must ‘take place’. Everything becomes significant, meaningful: the choice of images, their placement, the shape they take in words. The description of that room, and the emotion contained by that description must be shared by the readers. Otherwise, prose will stay prose, no matter how hard you work to break your sentences into lines of verse. Ans what’s worse, nothing happens afterwards.”
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