Thursday, April 30, 2015

Admired in a Poem

Today, in my pocket, I find three words:
"Accuracy, Spontaneity, Mystery."

These are the three qualities Elizabeth Bishop admired in the poetry she liked best, according to her essay, "Writing poetry is an unnatural act…" (702) from the collection Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose and Letters (Library of America).

I like thinking about these. Some of my own definitions:
Accuracy—can be precise description, but also the capturing and embodiment of emotion.
Spontaneity—the poem is alive and jumps off the page; fresh words are chosen; words stitched together in new ways.
Mystery—leaves you with a sense of something beyond you,  just out of your reach, something you desire.

Time to look over my files and see if these are there.


Bishop was known as a poet and writer of short stories and essays, 
but she also painted intimate images on paper. 
More about her (written in 2012, the centenary of her birth) in this post.

1 comment:

Martha Slavin said...

Allisa, thank you for your three definitions about poetry. I'm taking them with me when I write.