Poems in Notebook Form



I have been keeping notebooks for as long as I can remember, and I have learned in recent years that most poets keep them. These are not journals. They do not record the activities of our days nor often our thoughts about them. They are small or large, soft-bound and hard, lined and unlined, locked but most often not. Into them go the images, bits of overheard speech, "notes toward poems," odd things learned in a day, lines of poetry by others, possible epigraphs, lists of words jotted for this or that reason, words loved, words for green or some other color, synonyms, antonyms, short descriptions of things seen, verbal photographs, and even sketches, and even small maps and postage stamps and things cut from mailed envelopes. Sometimes these notebooks start resembling something else: aphorisms, a play, a film script. The poet develops a "form" for writing in the notebook. And every so often, in the notebook itself begins a poem. Studying notebooks, I began to wonder if some kind of form suggested itself by means of these notes. And upon reading certain poets, Edmond Jabès and Anna Kamienska among them, I thought to compost in the notebook form. Here are some links to works:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/article/180080

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/article/239348

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/article/239350

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/247280

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/180033

After looking at these, try to compose a poem in the form of a notebook and/or of notebook entries. The lines might be long (mostly) or broken by shorter lines. There may be a symbol of simply white
space between the sections or passages. The poem might include some quotes or not. Some lists or not. Think of making a poem in the shape and form of a notebook entry.

5 comments:

  1. Excellent typo:
    "I thought to compost in the notebook form."
    I love to think of composing as composting, making something new and useful out of scraps.

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    2. Joanna -- that is indeed excellent.

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  2. these are like soundbites. i used to have sections in my notebooks called 'soundbites'. it is good to know this is a genre.

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