Monday, April 11, 2005

Bunting's Advice to Young Poets

I will never write a poem about cats. There. It's been said.

On the Buffalo Poetics list a recent mail makes mention of a poet Basil Bunting's advice to young poets. Fantastic earth moving things a poet should take on, and be brave brave brave about. For how else is one to further their own movement and embrace that which is unknown to them unless the challenge is there. And so, I embrace this:

Bunting's advice to young poets


1. Compose aloud; poetry is a sound.
2. Vary rhythm enough to stir the emotion you want but not so as to lose impetus.
3. Use spoken words and syntax.
4. Fear adjective; they bleed nouns. Hate the passive.
5. Jettison ornament gaily but keep shape

Put your poem away till you forget it, then:

6. Cut out every word you dare.
7. Do it again a week later, and again.

Never explain - your reader is as smart as you.

So, I had a play with the Bunting bit. Oh it's fun to play:

's advice
to s

      I S

   1. Compose loud; poetry is sound
Vary stir
    you want
    not so

lose    i    us

  3  .    Use

words    and     .

bleed nouns


ornament    keep

away till

, then:

        Cut out

Do it
, and

- your reader is




Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's hillarious ~ reminds me a bit of the pound's 'spring time in gongora' or the poems now being written that include lacunae so they look like papyrus fragments. ~ have you read bunting's poetry? i have a bunting group. please drop in.

mark witucke

10:12 a.m.  

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