It is finished.
That is, I have finally sent off both my creative thesis and my critical paper to my Master’s program.
The creative thesis I could’ve sent months ago. The critical paper was a particular, and long, labor of love, and I must admit to shedding a few happy/sad tears upon finishing.
I have also removed all the index cards, with the voices of so many writers written across them, from my study walls. It ends up I could not bear to part with the cards altogether, so I fastened them to paper and put them in a folder in my desk drawer.
I’ve lived with these cards and their voices for months now, and although I find the mostly-bare walls more aesthetically pleasing, I miss being able to look up and see the quote I knew would be there, just where I’m looking.
“Urge and urge and urge” —Whitman
“It’s almost as if we sing to each other all day.” —Robert Pinsky
“Love buries these ghost forms within us.” —Frank Bidart
Plumly: consonance, assonance, & surprise.
“No verse is really free.” —T.S. Eliot
“Wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall” —Robert Duncan
“[S]ilence is finally the only perfect statement.” —A.R. Ammons
“The poem’s form is where resemblance and distinction intertwine. It’s where you can’t tell something. Dancer from dance, for example.” —Heather McHugh
“It is always less tiring to substitute method for intelligence.” —H.T. Kirby-Smith
“Meter developed in response to the motion of human lives… .” —Stephen Dobyns
“I long for the imperishable quiet at the heart of form.” —Theodore Roethke
“…from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful…” —Charles Darwin
Paul Fussell: the pleasures of meter are physical
“I and this mystery here we stand” —Whitman
“Craft dries your tears.” —Molly Peacock
“The rhythm is like an other, attending to me.” —Pinsky again
Calvino: not light like a feather, light like a bird.
“The form of the poem unlocks the mind to old pleasures.” —Donald Hall
“Form is condemned to an eternal danse macabre with meaning. I couldn’t unpeach the peaches.” —Annie Dillard
Is this then a touch? … quivering me to a new identity… —Whitman
“Horse, then, unhorses what is not horse.” —C.D. Wright.
And more, so many more. I will carry them with me. It’s almost as if they’re singing to me all day.