Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Poets to Know

Google the name, Carter Monroe. A North Carolina poet, his writing sings! Click HERE to read three of his poems published in Thunder Sandwich.

For an excellent interview of Carter by Tim Peeler, read this issue of THUNDER SANDWICH.

At least once a month, I plan to bring attention to a poet I like, via photo (if I have one) and a link to his or her website or poems online.



Berenice said...

Thank you Pris for introducing a poet whom I might otherwise have missed. Here is a poet who falls into the category of special. The third poem 'one behind the other ' stood out for me. B xx

Pris said...

He is indeed a special poet and a one of a kind person, as well!

azure_erin said...

Beautiful!! Thanks for pointing him out. I agree with berenice... I would have been sad to miss his song like style.

Pris said...

He's worth googling to read even more!

Geoff Sanderson said...

I'm sorry to be a wet blanket Pris, but I'm afraid his style of writing doesn't appeal to me at all, and never has done. That 'modern' lower-case, dribble-it-down-the-page, no-punctuation-here style just irritates me; I see it as just an affectation - like 'installation art' - that should have died out long ago. Why has mankind spent centuries perfecting language, only to deliberately obfuscate it?

I suppose that says a lot about me and my fuddy-duddy old ways, but I'm just too old to care. :-)

Tex said...

...but I'm afraid his style of writing doesn't appeal to me at all, and never has done.

A fellow who writes sentences like that has little cause to be critical of anybody.

Geoff Sanderson said...

Tex, I agree - the word 'done' at the end is redundant. But I wasn't criticising his grammar or use of words, or the content of his poems, but the style of writing. I still maintain that a good poet doesn't need bizarre layout or willful avoidance of punctuation to get his message across.
Remember, it is actually permitted to criticise established writers; I was expressing a viewpoint, not trying to prove how clever I am. In the old story, it wasn't until the ignorant child pointed out that the king was naked, that everyone saw through the 'new clothes'.

Tex said...

Hmmm. you obviously served as the king's jock strap, Geoffy. I very much appreciate your delicate sensibilities.

Perhaps, for our edification, you should write everything you know about poetry. I have a spare matchbook with a blank cover.

Porter said...

An article by Carter Monroe published in the now defunct McKenzie Magazine.

Making Art and the True State of American Poetry

In the "Life Lessons" segment of the movie, "New York Stories," Nick Nolte tells Rosanna Arquette, "You make art because you have to." I have found over the years that this statement is seldom far from my consciousness. I am still unsure as to whether it expresses the way I feel or the way I wish to feel. To assume that one's aspirations represent his or her reality is a step away from the advice of Polonius' to Laertes and whether it is actually the first step or simply one in a series is immaterial.

Bill Slaughter, who didn't know me at the time he originated his critically acclaimed and wonderful magazine, MUDLARK, appropriately defines me when he uses (in his "Submissions" section) the term, "hobbyists." A writer may be one who writes, but a poet is not necessarily one who writes poetry. I guess to make this statement places me within that myriad of readers, writers, and teachers whose opinions in regard to literature are scattered throughout the literary journals of the world. The advent of the web with its many outlets for verse, multiplies said number even more.

Having been married to a literary scholar for 26 years, I've been privy to many discussions with writers, writing teachers, and literature professors about poetry. When the circle has become complete and the arguments exhausted, one thing seems to remain at the forefront. There is a tremendous subjectivity that always hovers in and about these discussions. The most obvious words to expose themselves, particularly when the voices begin to rise and the sentences can't be finished are "like" and "speaks to me." Even when we refuse to allow ourselves to be so rudimentary in our expression, the fact that we are human beings with an ongoing need for reassurance causes us to continue attempting to make opinion into fact.

I'm always interested in reading the interviews and manifestos put forth by writers and editors in terms of both teaching as well as the so-called state of poetry in America. As for defining the latter, it has value only in terms of "the fans" of the definer, those who sit and wait for anything to come forth from the mouths or the pens of their heroes. I do not exclude myself from this group. I spend hours searching the web on a regular basis, always placing the names of those poets who "speak to me" in the box labeled "Advanced Search."

What I find again and again is the fact that we tend to be victims of our own humanity. Our artistic influences are molded by something that touches us during adolescence or post-adolescence when our intellectual innocence and vulnerability are peaking. Consider music as an art form. How much of what you listen to in the present is totally different from anything you were exposed to before the age of 25? The point in time where influence becomes an issue of paraphrase is something definitely worth considering and defining.

The same is true of writers. They can talk for hours about different works, but often when the smoke has cleared, the parameters of the conversation may wind up being exceedingly narrow and those areas that might broaden said parameters are viewed with scorn and disdain. To interject a possibility that disagrees with the seeming consensus may be met with raised eyebrows and condescending stares. Yet, said consensus may be the dissenting view at the salon being held across the street.

What we have to decide is the impact of validation. Do we “make art because we have to,” or is it somehow constructed for purposes of finding placement? How important is resume to the pure creator? How does the joy of composing a piece compare with the exhilaration of seeing it in print? I’m not sure that I know the answer to any of these questions. I am sure, however, that my own rudimentary verses that are put forth here and there will provide little insight.

I guess that when the smoke has cleared I see myself as some provincial Diogenes searching desperately for honest work from honest writers. I, also, readily admit that I have little way of knowing if and when I find it. To think that “I” have more or greater insight in terms of art would not only be foolish, but hypocritical. As for the current state of poetry in America, I only know what “speaks to me.”

Carter Monroe © 2001

Pris said...

If we all liked the same poems or poets, the world would be a pretty boring place. I featured Carter Monroe because I like and admire his work. I like the way he thinks about poetry. Enough said.