January 29, 2007

Poetry Build-Up

The poet's mind is in fact a receptacle for seizing and storing up numberless feelings, phrases, images, which remain there until all the particles which can unite to form a new compound are present together.
T. S. Eliot ("Tradition and the Individual Talent")

The very idea of claiming to be a poet is foreign to me, but the idea of amassing an innumerable amount of ideas isn't. The first thing that jumped to mind was a spontaneous combustion of words - leaping across the pages because the poet couldn't hold them in any longer.
Just imagine how much easier that would make the writing process.
In fact, it seems to me like this idea of the poet as a storage tank of ideas is exactly the opposite of how we are taught to write.
Brainstorm, thesis, structure, support, conclude, revise, revise, revise.
Eliot seems to be suggesting building up the brainstorming phase until it can no longer be contained - and then boom! finished product. This, of course, could just be wishful thinking on my part.

Posted by Diana Geleskie at January 29, 2007 8:45 PM | TrackBack
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