friday (mini-) roundup (on saturday): voice and praise


Fig tree (wikimedia)

Hello, Reader. Sorry for the lack of roundup yesterday… bodies of offspring, half-days of school, etc. … . And I’m working on the next post on submissions (getting to know lit mags), but it’s not finished yet. Stay tuned.

Today’s roundup will be short and sweet: three quotes on voice and a poem of praise.

three quotes on voice

From Mark Doty:

“(H)ow the texture of subjective perception find its way into speech” and also “(you) sounding like yourself, your unmistakable self.”

Read more in this talk.

From Stanley Plumly (referring to Pound’s idea of absolute rhythm: “a poetry which corresponds exactly to the emotion being expressed”):

“This sense of fullness, of something being worked out and worked through, relative to the length of the passage, relative to the timing of the particulars, is what the voice in free verse is all about.”

Read more in this book.

From Mary Ruefle (always my personal favorite):




Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!

Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.


When students are searching for their voice, they are searching for poetry. When they find their voice, they will have found poetry. When they find poetry, they will live to regret it.

From this classic tome.

I think the Doty and Plumly quotes speak to an individual mind/consciousness making itself manifest on the page. I think the Ruefle quote (actually a whole essay) is hilarious and true.

praise This week’s poem is from Ross Gay‘s book Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. I remember first reading it in APR and spending a long time with it. Now I return to it when I need a dose of wonder/praise/gratitude for the world. Here is “To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian.”

Also, may I recommend that you get your hands on the current issue of APR so that you can read Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s featured poems? They amaze.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s