Thursday, August 21, 2008

A fulcrum, a punctum, a narrative incongruity, a volta and a tonal shift

In response to recent POF forum discussions of risk in poetry and the higher echelons of poetic technique - amongst the more unlikely terms mentioned by Roddy Lumsden were "a fulcrum, a punctum, a narrative incongruity, a volta and a tonal shift" - I felt the urge to post up the following stab of Lorca as a first-strike response. I've quoted this particularly apposite passage before, but it's worth repeating.

There is also Ms. Baroque's blog for an alternative view of such discussions.

(By the way, looking up 'punctum', I discovered that it's the word used to describe a little prick or puncture hole.)

"The muse arouses the intellect, and brings colonnaded landscapes and a false taste of laurel. Very often intellect is poetry's enemy because it is too much given to imitation, because it lifts the poet to a throne of sharp edges and makes him oblivious of the fact that he may suddenly be devoured by ants or a great arsenic lobster may fall on his head."

---------- LORCA: 'Theory and Function of the Duende'

Well, exactly.


Women Rule Writer said...

Thanks for the links and quotes. Very interesting.

Perhaps certain people's punctums need punctuming, to deflate their tendency towards windbagging. Or something like that.

Angela France said...

Love it!


Jane Holland said...

The bit about great arsenic lobsters has a certain je ne sais quoi, has it not?


Rachel Fox said...

I liked your 'All poems' poem in the forum. I'm not really one for debate about makes me come over all lightweight...but I like the poems that come out of it all sometimes! (And yay for instinct...huge yay)
'All poems' reminded me of a track I used to listen to called 'This Poem' by a producer guy called Bobby Konders. I used to listen to it ages ago - it says on wikiwhatsit that the words were by one Mutabaruka. In case you were interested.