Friday, October 26, 2012

a line or a stanza that has the most fate

Another quick post today, with a couple of lines from the conversations with Li-Young Lee (link to the book in my recommended reading, above).

"When a poet writes a poem, he or she has already created something better in the universe. By writing it! If he never publishes it, he's already created more value in the universe than someone else who didn't write it. That value comes back; it precipitates out into great things. Great things. I don't believe the writing of poems is unrewarded if you don't publish them. So it doesn't get rewarded that way, which is the most direct way we see. It gets rewarded other ways. Your health. The health of your children. Your mental health. The wholeness of you and your children." 

Asked about line lengths, Lee responds:

"To be honest with you, I have no idea about line lengths. I'm about as ignorant a poet as you will probably find. I have no theories of prosody. I know that when I'm working, it feels to me I want to find a line or a stanza that has the most fate. The most inevitability. It seems to me that you can say a thing that has been so fateful that it could not have been spoken any other way."  


  1. stunning image!
    Wow, that last lines certainly speaks the truth.


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