Daniel Paul Marshall offers some thoughts on difficult poetry.
Before my hiatus, i did something i have never done. i wrote a handful of poems in a style i assumed a chosen journal would want to read. i made a royal pig’s ear of them. The poems, if i should salvage anything, would be nothing more than an egg cup full of lines, with room to spare. They are clunky, difficult, clearly forced. The information, the subject matter, is honest enough; they are on the surface interesting & yet fall far of the grade, considerably.
Why couldn’t i write difficult poems packed with dislocated ideas & disembodied images, rather than rote, concrete images & anecdotal snippets which, i have directly perceived & then designed into poetry? i have written imaginative poetry without struggle. My Charlie Malurkey poems are odd beyond good reason, written in a difficult, nigh illegible English slang & yet they don’t make me wince in horror.
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