My poetics – introduction

By poetics I don’t mean the Aristotelian tradition of seeking laws and principles for literature, more the whole rich, varied phenomena of poetry. I see poems are tools for maximising cognitive opportunities, which enrich human lives and culture. Poems are more than boxes of metaphor; poems are processes, which energise people, performances, and memories – over time. The poem is ‘scaffolding’, an opportunity for both creator and listener/reader to use language to think and feel.

 

My PhD thesis ‘A New Defence of Poetry’ updated Sir Philip Sidney’s and Shelley’s defences and was well received: “This is an extraordinary thesis . . . The total effect is undoubtedly an original contribution to the understanding of the role poetry might play in the contemporary world. [His poems] in their range of reference, and their mixture of personal, historical and natural perspectives, act as a really interesting companion to the accumulation of scholarly references in the other parts of the thesis. They are also excellent poems.” Dr Ivor Indyk.

 

Poetry and democracy ~ Mugabe and Trump

Alexander Nehamas is frustrated by ‘the failure’ of our imagination: ‘We don’t realize that most everything is contingent, that things could be different.’

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Tom Raworth RIP

‘I hear my poetry as a sort of music, though I don’t think of it as music. I think of it as language.’ Raworth

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Yevgeny Yevtushenko has died

I read his poetry and that of Andrei Voznesensky . . .

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Interviewed by Zalehah Turner

Just as important as stories are our underlying images, metaphors and practices . . .

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Beautiful writing John !

We have surrendered our handwriting for something more mechanical, less distinctively human . . .

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Haiku workshops, Turtlefest

Thanks John for the wonderful workshop. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it . . .

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Poetry readings can be fun

I talked about getting down and dirty.

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Inspiration on the loo

Creativity is a common catch-phrase and not just in the world of arts and letters. We all want to be creative, our politicians want the country to become creative . . . poem

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If you say you don’t like poetry

I ask you which sort. It’s like saying I don’t like music.

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Letter to an older poet

In the first of his Letters to a Young Poet, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke demanded the poet pay attention to the world.

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