Friday, August 22, 2003
& 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.