Jack Myers / James Arthur / poetry / The Portable Poetry Workshop Project

The Portable Poetry Workshop Project: General Considerations – The Discovery Mode

Jack talks about the discovery mode as a “method of organic composition in which content and form arise without preset ideas.”  Apperception, fixed form and free verse “intensions,” not knowing, and complexity and simplicity are outlined in this discussion.  I think a lot of things can be included in this discussion, as everyone seems to have their own “discovery mode” when it comes to writing.

Jack emphasizes a point made by Richard Hugo, “Scholars look for final truths they will never find.  Creative writers concern themselves with possibilities that are always there to the receptive.”  Sometimes I feel as if I am desperately searching for truth and that is why I write.  Other times, I just like to sit down and enjoy some word play, and sometimes, I really like what is staring back at me from the page.

I typically like to write free verse.  When at odds with my muse, I follow advice from James Arthur and  write according to a fixed form, my favorite being the villanelle.  How do you prefer to write your poetry?  What kinds of poems do you like to read?

In closing this chapter, Jack offers the “19 Questions” exercise.  I will share one of his questions with you along with one of my own:

One of Jack’s 19 questions:  “Under what conditions have you experienced the joy of deep personal learning and insight?  How does your understanding of and relationship to discipline fit into this?  What would your personification of discipline look like?  In this image, are you in service to it, or is it in service to you?”  (Yes, that is all ONE question!  And I think I sense a hidden writing exercise in this one.)

My question:  In The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux, the authors write, “Who you are contributes to your poetry in a number of important ways, but you shouldn’t identify with your poems so closely that when they are cut, you’re the one that bleeds.”  How do you feel about this statement and why?  Any past bleeding experiences you’d like to share?

Happy Friday, all!  Andrea

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