Friday, August 22, 2003

meet me at the sestina 

First off, sincere thanks to all of the PhillySound hosts, & especially to Tom & Frank for all of their hard work in organizing an incredibly successful event -- you should all be quite proud. I am quite proud, by proxy, say I.

& thanks also to CA for taking the initiative in getting the blog up & running.

I have to take a minute, though, to defend the sestina, or, moreover, poetic forms in general, for reasons more personal than academic.

back in 1991, I had a poetry workshop with Sonia Sanchez in which we had poems due every week -- every other week would be free writing, but the alternate weeks would be some sort of form: tanka, blues, villanelle, sestina, etc. At the time, I remember her saying that we probably wouldn't like it -- especially the villanelle -- but that it would be good for us. Like vegetables. & it was -- I mean, I wrote a really terrible villanelle (are there any good ones?), but from it, managed to pull one or two good lines. & she recommended, when we're feeling kind of stale, that we try starting out in a form -- even if the end result doesn't look like a sonnet, or even if the form is one of our own invention.

& since, when I get stuck with my own writing, I try writing something in somesuch form -- & somehow, the imposed structure of that form helps free up other thought processes, & allows me to get going & get stuff out (& perhaps purge some of the bad stuff). & while my work now isn't of the sonnet or sestina variety, there's definitely somesort of form & structure at work if you get down to the bones.

that's my two cents for tonight. must go feed the boys. again.


Jenn McCreary

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?