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Bradbury on Poetry

I glanced at Ray Bradbury’s "Zen in the Art of Writing," and spotted these few lines on poetry:

"Read poetry every day of your life. Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don’t use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition. It keeps you aware of your nose, your eye, your ear, your tongue, your hand. And, above all, poetry is compacted metaphor or simile. Such metaphors like Japanese paper flowers, may expand outward into gigantic shapes. Ideas lie everywhere through poetry books, yet how rarely have I heard short story teachers recommending them for browsing.

My story, “The Shoreline at Sunset,” is a direct result of reading Robert Hillyer’s lovely poem about finding a mermaid near Plymouth Rock. My story, “There Will Come Soft Rains,” is based on the poem of that title by Sara Teasdale, and the body of the story encompasses the theme of her poem. From Byron’s, “And the Moon Be Still as Bright,” came a chapter for my novel The Martian Chronicles, which speaks for a dead race of Martians who will no longer prowl empty seas late at night. In these cases, and dozens of others, I have had a metaphor jump at me, give me a spin, and run me off to do a story.

What poetry? Any poetry that makes your hair stand up along your arms. Don’t force yourself too hard. Take it easy. Over the years you may catch up to, move even with, and pass T.S. Eliot on your way to other pastures. You say you don’t understand Dylan Thomas? Yes, but your ganglion does, and your secret wits, and all your unborn children. Read him, as you can read a horse with your eyes, set free and charging over an endless green meadow on a windy day."

Here is one I like by

Discussions - 4 Comments

Thanks for the great quotation! I have always made poetry a feature of my blog.

Sunday Poetry Series

Random Poetry List

Father Tabb Centenary Year

(It doesn't look like the links will work. Sorry.)

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward poetic justice, which might as well be whatever the Oracle of Appolo at Delphi declares fate to be(note to Bernake: close study of bird entrails pays a dividend in divining the velocity of M1, if it were not so Aristotle would not mention her along with accurate weights and measures.)

In any case poetry is quite usefull to prevent being eaten by the Sphinx, allah willing and the tigris/tigra don't rise. Of course the tigra, is a tiger, and a Sphinx is just a sand tiger, or a tiger made of sand...that asks clever riddles and contains Genies according to the Disney version of Alladin, and Disney is really the revenge of all human faced mice upon human faced cats, and the Sphinx is a mouse trap for poetic adventurers, albeit Bilbo knew that poetry best works with the sort of breakfasts that aren't consumed dangerously.

But this isn't poetry I am just advertizing for Bing.

I've always been a secret lover of Dickinson myself. Probably a bit too austere for some folks out there, but I think it is beautiful, what she is able to do, and the depths she can reach, in her simplicity...

The links do work.

I love Dickinson.

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