Poetic Splinters

Poetic splinters, you can get them for sure, many poetry enthusiasts have dared to guide their poetry to left of centre in one way or another. The Beat poets for example, and often this doesn’t sit too well with ultra traditionalists. Without new views on poetry however there are no new developments and I can’t help thinking that word-smithing such as Rap and Slam Poetry to name but two splinters have helped many young people to engage with the sacred art.

For my own part, try as I may, I cannot peel my poetry away from a sound enhanced treatment, and I am now pretty sure that what may be best described as digitally enhanced poetry will be around for quite some time yet. I am though also keen to keep myself in a straight line down that central poetry course we call traditional poetry and to this end I have tracked down a local Poetry Stanza of The Poetry Society and when I am able I intend to be a regular at the group (if they will have me of course).

Why am I continually fascinated by digitally enhanced poetry? The answer lies in what can be done with it, how it can colour the reading, give it atmosphere and nuances, how it can interplay and bring mood, how it can render a partnership with the imagination. That is ok I think, yes? It’s another way of rendering the essence of what otherwise may be plain unaccompanied prose. Does poetry need this? No of course not, but we live in the age of the digital world and it seems a shame not to let poetry in on it. I am hoping to continue the work in 2016 and add to my Bandcamp collection, but I am also hoping to develop my traditional skills and if you want to improve your game it plays to be in a good team surrounded by good players, preferably better than yourself, hence my aspirations towards my local Poetry Stanza. It seems like a sensible plan methinks. I’m enthused by the thought of it at least having lost my poetry mojo somewhat when everything in the world seemed to be pushing me away from the thing I know I love.

So, anyway, have a listen to the last thing I’ve done, Under The Stars. It is poetry about my dad, something we shared together on special nights. I hope something of those moments can be found by listening to it. I hope too, that you may see how the words and sound-atmosphere can work in synergy. It is almost essential to listen through headphones, as that offers the nuances really. Peace to all.

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5 thoughts on “Poetic Splinters”

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this ‘digitally enhanced’ poem.

    I always had a love / hate relationship with poetry reading, the hate part coming from the dynamic of the poet reading saying the third line, its density which is fine on paper, pulls the mind around it…meanwhile the poet continues reading. Now I click back on line 6 or 7 and am totally lost trying to catch up…now its line 10.

    Your poem is constructed in a way that allows the mind to follow the poet without spinning off, although one could do so if it were on paper (or computer screen). It not a grand new insight on my part that some poems are not meant to be read aloud, while others are best only when read aloud, and so on.

    1. Thank you for this input. I have long held the notion that spoken poetry needs to work differently. I wrote more about in my page ‘Thoughts on Poems’. Originally I never wanted a printed poem of my own to exist, but so many people still ask to see one. Perhaps there is a middle ground. Thank you so much for commenting. I’m very pleased to meet you.

      1. Likewise. This makes me think of the playwrights like Beckett who not only severely limited who could perform their work, but resisted the performances being filmed. One (splinter) aesthetic: a singular performance of play is meant to be there for that moment and then, as in life, gone, except for in the memory of those who happened to be attendance, understanding the memory will filter, distort and forget.

        If this is the playwright’s wishes, then we should respect it. A painter can control in what manner their work is presented if they so desire and people tend to not have a problem with that.

        I applaud your efforts to straddle the boundaries between poetry and performance art and digital mediums. Just as much so, I applaud your efforts to engage in what Herbert Blau would call the thinking through (as opposed to a passive, it is what it is, or aggressively refusing to allow a meaning to be attached to not only the work itself, but the process of creating it and its place within the greater realm of other works).

  2. Wow, thank you so much for sharing your views here. Sometimes I wonder if I am almost on a self destruct poetry journey. I have encountered some less than embracing views on work that is not mainstream poetry as emerges through academic evolution. There seem to be so many so called poetry rules to be observed and this is amplified in poetry because the more you are immersed in it the more often you encounter it. The world of poetry is unsurprisingly inhabited by poets and inside that world lie the guardians and gatekeepers. Perhaps this is just a natural part of my journey. It is so refreshing to hear your comments and your latest blog too. I find myself walking towards the light.

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