Moving Forward

I failed to elegantly recover past posts. Rather than start fresh with a Fast Poem #18, I decided that tomorrow, Monday, January 12, a re-posting of Fast Poems #1 through #17 will begin. They will appear in the order originally posted.

The first poem posted, and which I intend to re-post, did not get the Fast Poem label. I consider it an anterior work to Fast Poems, not in the Lucas sense of prequel but in as in an accidentally happened upon spring-of-inspiration way. The poem, Terza Rima Dima Schema, was written in response to an exercise in Stephen Fry’s wonderful The Ode Less Travelled. The exercise and poem invoked, for reasons I cannot explain, a desire to work on a collection of somewhat raw, barely worked poetry. This desire manifests in the Fast Poem series.

If you are interested in reading (or writing) poetry, I recommend you pick up a copy of The Ode Less Travelled. Primarily written for writers, The Ode Less Travelled holds between its covers significant value for readers, or those who would be readers, of poetry. I mention this because the world suffers a dearth of good poetry readers.

Just because you like to read poetry does not mean you are good at it.

Unlike 99% of the other how-to-write-poetry books I own, and 100% of the how-to-read poetry books I’ve read, Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled has wit, humor and insight skillfully threaded between a really very British presentation of prosody. In short, this is an informative but fun book about the art of poetry. Should we allow fun in art? If there isn’t, is it really art?

Don’t take my word for it. Read this book.

I apologize for the re-posting that will occur over the next month or more but it gives you an opportunity to reread, if you so decide. And it gives me a little breathing room.

  • ailec

    “…raw, barely worked poetry…”
    So, sort of Sushi Poetry?

    And I think we should definitely allow art in fun.
    Oh, wait, what did you say again?

    • Chrome

      It does not surprise me that the phrase invoked an image of sushi for you. In my contrarian way, I contend sushi is, though raw, well worked. Perhaps you meant sashimi, where a clever few cuts and a bit of presentation make the dish? Sashimi more closely reflects the act of writing Fast Poems though I lack skill comparable to trained sashimi chefs. That the phrase invoked images of sushi reminds me to warn you, The Ode Less Traveled reads not at all like a user guide, scientific article or white paper. And to suggest that poetry digests better if sipped like a good brandy Manhattan in contrast to mouthfuls of sashimi or sushi. I suspect you know all this but write it to aid other visitors.

  • Anita

    I am going to put that book on my wishlist – and I have bookmarked this site, and intend to read the series as you republish it. I am a person who does not know how to read a poem. There, I admit it. I always have had the excuse that I don’t do well with abstract concepts, and “poems are abstract”. I have seen a glimpse of something rather wonderful a few times lately, largely through your other site. Thank you sincerely for the book suggestion.

    And I know that sushi refers to the rice, not to raw fish.

    • Chrome

      I think you will enjoy the book. I’m re-reading it after a year of writing.

  • Sharkey!

    “Just because you like to read poetry does not mean you are good at it.”

    Oh, I’m fully aware.
    I suck at reading poetry.

    • Chrome

      Ah, but do you enjoy reading it?

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