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Although I've written poetry for twenty-five years, I haven't consciously worked out a personal "poetics." I'm not consciously aware of writing a particular sort of poem, a surreal, lyric, literal or any other kind of poem; I have never tried to fit my poems into any kind of school of thought. I am aware that there is a movement of poets who refuse to write within a narrative or linear framework (going so far as to be rigorously "disassociative") and though I am somewhat sympathetic to their resistance to conventional narrative forms, I personally wouldn't go so far as to dismiss narrative entirely. I wouldn't dismiss anything, in fact. I use whatever works for the poem of the moment. I don't think one sits down and decides, today I will write a totally random poem, or today I will write a traditional narrative poem. The material and/or content influence the shape of the poem. Or, you could say, the poem finds its own shape. The brain craves, I think, some sort of meaning no matter how elliptical or nebulous. To write random lines, without any internal connection, is ultimately boring and meaningless, at least to me. What I do know is that in poetry anything can happen. The freedom to say anything, go anywhere, is, for me, the great pleasure of writing poetry. Being an earthbound creature with all the limitations this implies, I find the liberation of words thrilling.


Patricia Young's works copyright © to the author.


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