Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'mashed with'

Michael Farrell has just posted some comments on a couple of my poems on the Jacket2 site. He points out that some recent poems, such as these two, 'Leaving It To the Sky', from Dark Bright Doors, and 'Misinterpretations/ or the Dark Grey Outline', recently published in Overland, are, in his words, more 'aggressive' and 'rawer, rougher, more "live" '.

I hadn't thought of the newer poems in those terms, exactly. And another reviewer has pointed out the 'violence' in some of my work, overall. But it's apparent that Michael has noticed a newer mode in my work, that there are things 'up with which I will not put' any longer. A new assertiveness, rather than the previous assertiveness (which is there, if you look). He says: "It's a broader, more assertive platform for Jones's brand of projective verse, and one that bodes well for a midcareer future."

Parts of the poem, 'Misinterpretations ...' certainly were written out of a frustration with some not-well-thought-through ways critics were taking with my work, that, for instance, what I've been recently writing was a form of comfortable ecopoetic with some fancy philosophic or metaphysical flourishes. Living inside and out on the planet, where you are, and writing it, isn't easy, and it involves some thinking and some emotion - gee whiz, how hard is that to divine? But I'm not interested in being obscure, amorphous, or hermetic (though when did that become a negative?) - then, language is never straight forward (and, hey, isn't that kinda PomeWritin 101?).

As an aside, it's something I've noticed a bit with some poet reviewers, that they want someone else's work to be as clear as, easy to 'get', while they themselves, in their own writing, are difficult, in the good sense. But Michael has got how I am working on a new level.

Frustrations can be good drivers, I'm learning to use the good side of that. Couple that with, mostly, the benign (or other) neglect most poets experience, and it means you can be free-er to move around language, and be bolder amongst the messiness of it all.

1 comment:

Nicholas Manning said...

This is a wonderful conversation. I hear what you're saying Jill, this poet-critic temptation is palpable, even though (in my view) the riverbed of accessible/difficult (doors/windows, trees/treehouses etc) was dried up long ago, maybe towards the end of Modernism (Wallace Stevens, love or hate the guy, is already something very else than the Pound/Eliot/Yeats cultural hangover (trying to put back together the d├ębris of a broken culture. Something very different is obviously going on here. Looking forward very much to the future of this dialogue. Kind thoughts from Paris, Nick
P.S. Great word verification: NOWEVER