Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Two Sides of the Coin?

Deb Ager, discussing "Grandmother poems":

After we write the poems about our families, it seems we then struggle to write something that isn't about family. It becomes a habit. We mine every detail of our lives for ideas. We run out of ideas. We don't want to share the truth. We don't want to use what few ideas we do have. We strike those poems out as too confessional or juvenile. I was familied out about a decade ago. If I write any poems about my family now, the poems are all lies. Lies are more interesting.

William Logan (from The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin, currently excerpted at Poetry Daily):

Oh, and ... poems must be about the poet's life, because we should always write what we know, and what else does a poet know? How fortunate that Shakespeare was the close personal friend of Julius Caesar and that Milton supped frequently with the Devil.

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