Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Poetry Dances

As one who writes mostly "free verse". I like to describe poetry as "words that dance'. Being free of rigid meter does not mean that one can get along without rhythm, but rather that one finds the rhythm in the cadences of ordinary speech rather than in prescribed formats. English is a marvelous language in which an interplay of the stresses of syllables, the timing of utterance, and the sounds of syllables all work together to produce a tapestry of sound to bring life to the thoughts and imagery. Poetry is not merely cerebral, but intensely physical as well. As a performance poet, I have found that, when I am reading, if I have caught the dance of the poem, my hand wants to bounce, or my feet to tap, or my body to sway. If this does not occur, and if it is my own work I'm doing, I know there is something wrong with the piece; or, if I am reading another's work, the lack of such motion shows me that I have not caught what the poet intended to be there. However one describes it technically, poetry dances.

--ed pacht

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