Saturday, November 29, 2003

It's funny how sometimes I feel like I didn't get anything accomplished on a day where I actually got a great deal done of what I needed to. I think it may have something to do with not having left my home except for a fifty minute walk.
I tried to go out and write tonight but the well was pretty dry. I think that was because I was trying a different book of poetic terms than I'm used to. I usually use "The Teacher's and Writer's Handbook of Poetic Forms" by Ron Padgett, which is a Godsend of a book. It's a user friendly cake walk through poetic forms.
The other day I got "Poetry Handbook A Dictionary of Terms" by Babette Deutsch. It sucks. Besides being dense it's also packed full of sweeping judgements of modern poets (or modern at the time of publication) by somebody who really should have stuck to her Audenesque rhymes. Instead she felt the need to soap box her opinions on all poetry, making darn sure we're constantly aware of her vast knowledge of the form and its history.
Here's one of many examples I could give from the text. This is a description of the beat generation. "Because of their rootlessness, their ribaldry, their explosive attacks on the accepted norm, they might be called the goliards of the atomic age, but the term is only partially apt, since they lack the ecclesiastical background, the witty scholarship, the technical skill, and the natural gaiety of their medieval predecessors."
And there you have the longest run on in the history of the English language. Also, when I think of Kerouac, a lack of ecclesiastical background doesn't spring right to mind. Burroughs had more scholarship and skill than most of modern America put together. And don't get me started on Ginsberg's natural gaiety.
Thank God this little monster of a book hasn't survived. I plan to put it up for sale swiftly.
Anyway, just reading over the thing may have killed my writing buzz. I pounded out a short piece that will probably get eaten by a larger piece someday and then came home.

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