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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

work on it

Hudson and I are in the library, sharing a port and talking through the finer points of literature.

"So what do you think, Hudson?" I ask. "Do you think, also, that traditional forms in poetry are largely passe?

Hudson lowers his glass. "I refer to Levertov (See Talking to Grief)," he says, "to quote" : I think that the kind of closures imposed by traditional forms relate to the sense of life within the periods which gave rise to them. After Einstein, the certainty about the future that people used to have was changed. The universe has turned out to be much less defined than we had thought—with hell below and heaven above—and we obviously live in a time of uncertainty. Forms in poetry, then, have become in my opinion anachronistic. Nevertheless, if an individual's basic sensibility is generally in tune with those kinds of underlying conceptions which gave rise to the form in the first place, a couplet, for instance, or a sonnet, then maybe he or she can use them successfully. But I think that the use of forms in a sort of wishful-wistful way—to give order where we have apparently little of it—is not poetry. I think that we should acknowledge the chaos we live in and deal with it."

Hudson wipes his lips, "Deal with the chaos, Dead Beat. You'd be the better writer for it."

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