Topic: The Highest State in Writing Poetry
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
For me, it often feels like words are already formed into poems, and are sitting invisibly in the empty space above me. I need to get myself right, and go to the right place inside, where I can be fully receptive and hopefully snatch a poem out of thin air ...
严力 Yan Li
什么是写诗的最高境界，我难以确定。 但那里有着最神秘的境界：当你把感情、观念和思维落实到诗中之后， 发现它们比你所能想到的有更多的层次和张力。 我也知道什么是最低境界：不打扫自己所处之时代的或者自己内心的尘灰。
What is the highest state for writing poetry, I can't quite say. However, that is a most mysterious place: Having taken your emotions, ideas and concepts and landed them in the poem, you suddenly find all the many levels and tension you never imagined. I also know the lowest state: Not sweeping up the dust of the era in which one lives or not sweeping up the dust of ones inside body. -- Translated by Paul Manfredi
绿音 Yidan Han
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
If I write, it is poetry. If I don't write, poetry is still there. Poetry is everywhere, in the eyes, in the heart, in dreams. I feel as if it is not really I write poetry, but poetry writes me. Everything I write is poetry, yet possibly it is nothing. I meditate, or dance, or fly. With me, without me, with poetry, without poetry, I have one heart only.
非马 William Marr
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
English author Ford Maddox Ford once said: "The quality of great poetry is that without comment as without effort it presents you with images that stir your emotions; so you are made a better man; you are softened, rendered more supple of mind, more open to the vicissitudes and necessities of your fellow men." Whenever I write a poem these words always cross my mind.
It's the emotional outburst of some personal views about the world from the heart of the poet with language refined in a unique way to be musically beautiful.
得一忘二 Jinghua Fan
Beat around the bush with a quill
Surprise a brooding bird
and prepare to get a surprise from the bird's flight
-- Does a writer recognize his writing?
Poetry-writing is always a detour, and I have known no consummation with writing, either as an act or as a product. The only glitters of glee come from those moments when I think that I have found a word or a phrase to represent the thought. When there are more than one words or phases that work well together in a poem, the glitters will shine, and I will think I am up on cloud nine, displaced into a state higher than any space I am confined to.
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Poetry is vital language. Poetry relies on the writer’s feelings, history and perceptions, so every person has the background needed to write poems. Because poetry draws on the senses and the senses give deep access to memories and feelings, poetry writing is relevant and interesting.
Poetry is ancient. The most primitive peoples have used it, and the most civilized have cultivated it. In all ages and in all countries, poetry has been written – and eagerly read or listened to – by all kinds and conditions of people – by statesmen, lawyers, farmers, doctors, scientists, clergymen, philosophers, soldiers, kings and queens. In all ages, poetry has been regarded as important, not simply for pleasure, but as something central to each individual’s existence, something of unique value, and something which makes us feel better off for having and which we are spiritually impoverished without.
Initially, poetry might be defined as a language that says more and says it more intensely than does ordinary language. In order to understand this fully, we need to understand what it is that poetry “says”. Poetic language is employed on different occasions to say quite different kinds of things. Therefore, poetry is language of different uses. While novels, short stories and plays bring us a sense and a perception of life, their concern is with experience. The poet may create new experiences for the reader in which the reader can participate and which will give him or her a greater awareness and understanding of the world.
Poetry is the literary vehicle which is not only an aid to living but a means of living. For example, an encyclopedia can offer information on elephants. You can discover where they live, what they eat and how they breed. This information is only for practical purposes only. You can grasp the ivory of the elephant, but not its soul. The encyclopedia will not touch on its majesty, wild grandeur, strength or power. The poem can turn the elephant from a museum specimen into the highest concrete visual image that comes alive in the mind of the reader. For the living elephant, we must turn to poetry.
Poetry takes all life as its province. Its primary concern is not with beauty, not with philosophical truth, not with persuasion, but with experience. Beauty and philosophical truth are aspects of experience, and the poet is often engaged with them. Poetry as a whole is concerned with all kinds of experience – beautiful & ugly, strange & common, noble & ignoble, actual & imaginary. One of the paradoxes of human existence is that all experience, when transmitted through the medium of art, becomes enjoyable. Even painful experience is pleasurable when poetry romanticizes hard labour, poverty and even death.
Poetry comes to us bringing life, and focuses on giving us a better understanding of life. Between poetry and other genres of literature there is one sharp distinction. Poetry writing is a friend to all writers. Engrossing and honest, poetry extends universally to all members of society. Poetry exists to communicate significant experience imaginatively and creatively, deepening our knowledge of the senses more poignantly.
Poetry can be inspirational on the highest level, when it provides the reader with a precious affair, frequently incandescent, giving off both light and heat. Finally, poetry is a kind of multi-dimensional language. It is directed at the whole person, not just at his understanding. It must involve the reader’s senses, intelligence, emotions and imagination. Poetry achieves its extra dimensions per word by employing devices including metaphor, allusion, sound, repetition, rhythm, irony, symbol, connotation and imagery. Using these resources and the materials of life, poetry, in its highest form, comes alive on the page.
星子 Anna Yin
I have so much passion in poetry. It seems they are my friends and mentors who listen to me and light up me. I have seen they blend into my mind, my imagination, as the whispering breezes and blooming flowers. They reside there in depth of my heart, what I have to do is to unveil them.
John B. Lee
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
"The Highest State in Writing Poetry" for me is when while chasing the feeling I feel when the writing is going well, I simply disappear. I recently wrote in an e mail to a friend, "I am falling deeper and deeper in love with my wife, my children, my family, my friends and my God. The older I get, the more deeply I feel the sweet vanishing of myself into these prayers, these poems, these words where the actual can be measured only in the qualities of the heart."
I recently reiterated these words as part of my talk as Poet Laureate of Brantford during the mayor's address at City Hall.
Poetry is best and it achieves its highest state when the heart, the mind,the body and the soul are contained in one surround. Call that spirit. Call that mystery. Call that, as I did in my book on writing, "Building Bycicles in the Dark," (Black moss press, 2001), "presence." The irony Of presence is the entire absence of the poet's ego. The unselfconsciuos 'self'. The unconscious communion with the muses where the private identity vanishes and the creator is transformed by the creation. Word magic. The best words in the best order. Or to quote a child, "Poetry is when words sing."
We know it when we experience it. Sometimes we don't recognize its absence until we experience it again. We strive for that transformative grace when words lift the veil and the metamorphosis of the self becomes covenant with something permanent, eternal, and our otherness, our alienation, our angst,our superficial ironies embrace paradox and ambiguity in the celebratory dance of being alive and fully engaged in vanishing into life affirming sentient breathing of a lovely exhale.
Naperville, Illinois, U.S.
For me, poetry, in any language, is the highest form of human _expression.
Not all poetry, of course. Some postmodern verse has lost its music, imagery
and primary purpose -- which is communication and connection with the reader.
Connection is not necessarily the same as agreement, but the reader wants
and expects to be touched by the words, plucked like a stringed instrument.
Even if the melody is not to our liking, we want to experience a response,
an emotional reaction. Like the visual stimulation of paintings and sculpture
and the sensory involvements of jazz or symphonies, poetry is a sensual
art that must be shared by writer and reader. The finest poetry awakens
thoughts and feelings the reader was not aware of before.
对我来说，诗，在任何语言，是人类最高的表达形式。当然并非所有的诗。一些后现代诗已失去了它的音乐、意象以及主要目的 -- 那就是同读者的沟通与联系。联系并不一定等于同意， 但读者需要并期待被语言所触动，像弦乐器般被拨动。即使我们并不喜欢它的曲调，我们要经历一种反应，一种感情的呼应。像绘画与雕塑的视觉刺激以及爵士乐或交响乐的感官牵连一样， 诗是一种感觉的艺术，必须为作者与读者所共享。最好的诗唤醒了读者前所未知的思想与情感。(非马译)
殷晓媛 Xiaoyuan Yin
We call this cube model ABDC-EFGH 'The Infinite', which is used in deduction of 'The Highest State of Writing Poetry'.
Three faces of it are visible: ABFE——Representation of Reality；EFHG——Techniques of Expression；ACGE——Space for Imagination. The way the three faces meet decides the nature of a poem.
The three faces invisible to us but objectively existing are: ABDC——Unexploited Standpoints；CDHG——Unknown Facts；BDHF——Potential Cause-effect Relationships.
Model 1：It stands for generalized poetry. The faces of 'Representation of Reality' 'Techniques of Expression' 'Space for Imagination' in poetry meets one another at Edge EA、EF and EG. The common point 'E' is known as 'The Eye of The Poem'.
Model 2：It stands for 'The Highest State in Writing Poetry', or 'ideal poetry'. To make the faces of 'Representation of Reality' 'Techniques of Expression' 'Space for Imagination' overlap each other as much as possible, we drew a hypothetical equilateral hexagon ABFHGC. In this model, 'the eye of the poem' is no longer a point but a plane.
Model 3：But as is known to all, the ideal state we assumed doesn't exist, because A,B,F,H,G,C are not in the same plane. In order to achieve the goal of Model 2 to the fullest extent, we connect A, B, H, G, which are in the same plane, (four is the largest number of points sharing a plane among the six points), and make a triangle with its side AG and the left point C, and another triangle with its side BH and F. we can see the differences between Model 1 and Model 3 are：the distance between 'Representation of Reality' and 'Techniques of Expression' is narrowed，and the part of 'Space for Imagination' included in this model is half replaced by 'potential cause-effect relationships'，compared to Model 1. We call it -the model of 'outstanding poems'.