Monday, 22 March 2021

Erik Fuhrer : part five

How does a poem begin?

As a phrase or an image—something that gets stuck in my head and forces me to go to the page or the computer. It usually blooms in the midst of things and gets caught, making me repeat it over and over until I can jot it down— this repetition helps me further visualize the image or form the sonics of the phrase in my mouth, so that consistently becomes more vivid. That’s not to say that the poems themselves always occur spontaneously, though they sometimes do, as I often engage in a version of automatic writing, with the initial phrase or image as a conduit to the rest of the poem. Sometimes, however, the poems come painfully slow, with each line of the poem following the process of the first line—caught, repeated, written down, rinse and repeat, until the next phrase or image that murmurs feels like it is starting a new poem. I usually trust the sound of the poem to guide me as to whether a line is the start of a new poem or the continuation of one that is already building. 

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