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Reading The Courtland Review (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I read a few issues online and then wrote the following:

Part 1:

The poems I write demand to be written or so it would appear since 1992. I have written an average of 1.1 poems every day for the last 15 years. It's not simply a matter of sitting down periodically with that formidable adversary, the blank page. Sometimes the most urgent need to write will produce only a quantity of insipid scribbling and a nagging bloated feeling of mental constipation. I often find that the poem has to be nurtured over a sustained period, that it must be lived with, must be borne or relished in its nebulous embryonic form for days, weeks or even years before it will yield up a passable first draft upon the page. At other times the poem requires no nurturing; it slides onto the literary pond like water on ice smoothing out my life.

To stimulate the process, I set myself daily mental exercises that may lead eventually to poetry. The exercises are nothing too strenuous most of the time. I find my epistemological sit-ups in the form of reading mixed in with my normal routines: ablutions, washing dishes, emptying garbage, organizing my files and, occasionally, a few perception-stretches in the garden where my wife has arranged a wide variety of plant and flower which does the trick. The mind has a natural tendency to run along familiar paths. So it's largely a matter of stimulating the intellectual and/or perceptual wheels to disengage them from their ruts, their avenues, their places of familiarity, their somnambulance and engaging some automatic creative pilot sitting and waiting on the edge of the familiar places so that the fresh seeing and feeling process can take off.

Part 2:

These are just some of the habits and proclivities that conspire daily to make me a poet. Oh yes, there's one ingredient I must add to the mix in conclusion. That ingredient is a faint, nagging voice from somewhere in the wings. That voice is the expression of a dominating passion in my life to translate my beliefs, my values and attitudes into some articulate form, a form that I can expose to others and so play my small part in the creation of a unified planet: the planetization of humankind. -Ron Price with thanks to Robert Kendall, "A Day in the Life of Robert Kendall," The Cortland Review, 25 November 2006.

Part 3:

What was this bent of mind that
inclined me to turn an image,
thought, a feeling into a poem?
…to turn troubles and delights,
grand conceptions and passages
into what would set my mind
at rest as I whirled constantly
from pillar to post in a world
of impressions and apparently
arbitrary mundane starting points:
engendering ethereal finger-paintings,
hoping that at the bidding of the ideal
King my world of being would be leavened
and furnished with a power through which
this poetic art would be made manifest.

Ron Price
25/11/'06 to 9/1/'15
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