Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Imaginary Poet

Often in lyric poetry we get wrapped up in ourselves--what is true to us. I think it is much more interesting to lie outrageously.

Check out this issue of Blackbird online. It has a feature, "Tracking the Muse," with commentary by various poets about their process. Here's a link to Jehanne Dubrow's "Notes Toward a Nonexistent Poet."

It is great. She starts off suggesting you lie a little bit about yourself, making up an experience you never had, like a childhood overseas. But she progresses toward creating a whole fictional poet and writing poems for her. While the amount of research needed for a whole book of works by a fictional poet might be a little more than a Wednesday afternoon will permit, you could pick a person you know and write a poem as them, or as a famous person, or as a made-up person.

My poet is Sara Johnston. She's from North Carolina, daughter of an Airforce captain, and her family lived in Germany from when she was eight to eleven. She recently was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma.


makeller63 said...

Dubrow's first name is Jehanne, not Jeanne. This typo in our menus and pages slipped by me for about 24 hours when I published the feature.

Thanks much for reading Blackbird and for your attention in Transletics to our contributors. I'll continue to follow, and recommend, your blog.

Michael Keller
Online Editor, Blackbird

Transletics said...

Thanks Michael for the correction and for the blog love. :)