Thursday, February 7, 2008

First one thing, and then another

I was listening to Kathleen Flenniken read at Benaroya Hall the other night, and I was struck by the way she moves from one subject to the next—how her poem grows from one subject into something new and yet not unfamiliar, not out of the blue. You can hear and feel the connection and the transition.

It made me think of Richard Hugo's advice in The Triggering Town. He talks about the triggering subject and suggests starting with it and then getting off it as soon as possible (before you run out of things to say, as he points out).

The trick, for me, is getting off that first subject and opening myself up to what can become next, what needs to become next.

That movement, that seemingly easy and yet powerful transition, was again brought to my attention in today's poem on the Poetry Daily website. Highly recommended.

No comments: