Thursday, October 12, 2006

aware of the seamlessness

As I continue my dissertation project and attempt, over and over again, to articulate my "poetic goal" in my dissertation prospectus, I become more and more aware that my poems lack a central subject, making it very difficult to put them "together" in any form of a collection. Surely in PhD dissertation defense, someone is bound to ask, "What are these poems ABOUT?" Truth is, I have no idea. And I don't mean this in a cosmic, metaphysical way that proposes me as some sort of conduit of the gods, channeling all things poetic through me ala Plato. No, I mean that I seem to be purposely avolding a tangible subject so as to let amore general-ness of the poems open up. I'm trying to articulate a specific sadness that is inherent in femininity, perhaps, or at least a sadness that I often find in my own femininity, whatever that looks like. They seek to explore something that in fact has no center, or perhaps multiple centers, that fracture, that refract. I don't want my poems to point to one specific thing. I want them to open instead of close. This is problematic when faced with building a "collection," though. How does something with no center relate to other things with no centers? What can be the binding fdactors? Their essential non-centrality? No, that's too vague. The imagery and how it often centers around nature and bizarre relations to it? Maybe, but imagery is not necessarily the central trope in my poetry.

I'm kind of stuck, but in a good way, I think. I mean, this is what it's all about. I'm dpoing this whole PhD thing in order to speak more eloquently about these things. To situate my own work among other poets with similar trajectories and ideas. More soon. . .I welcome feedback. . .

1 comment:

Justin Evans said...

Don't let your committee bully you. Poetry is it's own justification. Defend the craft of the poems and use that as your basis for what they are 'about.'