2 Ed Coletti Poems
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"Being Difficult" Selections from the Essay on Poetic Obscurity and Other Good Stuff by Norman Ball (see biography by pressing the "full article" link just below.
These selections are from the full article which previously appeared in Rattle.
"The message to poets is, beware the kindness of strangers. Those who would rescue a poem from 'incomprehensibility' may actually be advancing death-by explication. Poetic logic is its own animal existing outside the bounds of relatable (i.e. conversational) understanding. I'm guilty of offering dubious assistance in some of your prior efforts. But I find myself developing a comfort level with your opacity...For me, part of the fascination of your poetry lies in its willful inaccessiblity. I'm convinced you've constructed more here than a good game of hide-and seek..."
"For too many readers, difficulty is a tiresome abomination, a code to be cracked. They want their literary merit fed to them in bite-sized morsels."
"The Internet, for all its salutary effects on artistic collaboration and community, beckons with an immediacy that can be the undoing of careful composition. In the penchant for immediacy, difficulty suffers...the technology itself tempts at rushing a poem out there before its time."
" 'The Wasteland' gives up nothing over bagels and coffee. Lovers rarely discuss it in bed. Yet it feels like a poem, filling us with the overwhelming sense we are experiencing something. There is no paragraphed synopsis to render this experience. This is as it should be."
Now, enjoy the full article
for the penniless poet:
a short walk to their cars
While you were onstage reading another poem
A man carrying a garbage bag in the rain
performed the stations of the cross
and moved his lips in silent prayer.
Advice to the Aspiring Artist