Steve Kowit's In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop is a book of encouragement and empowerment, full of ideas and exercises for anyone who wants to write better verse. Many of the suggestions are a bit touchy-feely; few of the examples are of classical rhyme and meter; no matter. Kowit is upbeat, rhapsodic, and thoughtful throughout his teaching. At the beginning of Chapter 26 ("Into the Dazzling Void: Writing About the Natural World"), for instance:

In the moment of true experiencing there are no words: there is just the experiencing itself. It is the central paradox of the language of poetry that it is often trying to get beyond language to the sheer suchness of the world — that inexpressible experiencing whose verbal emblem is closer to a sigh or a shudder than to a phrase.

In the next chapter ("Poetry and the Awakened Life") Steve Kowit examines the word in the larger context of existence and the zen of now:

Surely it is one of poetry's sacred aims — indeed, one of the central aims of all art — to lift us out of our sleep into the actual world of this present moment. Art, then, is a way of remembering our real selves, of stepping out of the busy mind and back into the real world of trees, birds, clouds, people, chairs — the extraordinary, unspeakable presence of everything that exists — the sense of our identity with all creation. And once we do enter the present, we are apt to see the world more vividly, more wholly, our emotions open to the miraculousness of the ordinary. ...

(cf. RulesVersusPrinciples (23 June 1999), LyingVerses (15 March 2001), IambicHonesty1 (23 Apr 2001), PoeticProcesses (3 Mar 2002), NeverToldAnybody (16 Dec 2005), RhythmMethod (24 Feb 2006), PoeticCredo (10 Mar 2006), ...)

TopicPoetry - TopicLanguage - TopicLife - TopicLiterature - TopicArt - 2006-09-11

(correlates: TeamWork, RhythmMethod, OneThingAfterAnother, ...)