…a quote from Robert Kroetsch.

So, I haven’t written much lately. Not on the blog, not on my poetry, although I’ll admit to having written about 300 emails in the past few days; however, it’s not for the lack of thinking about it–though I’ll admit I didn’t try too hard either. Tonight I had a moment of exhuberance, the urge to write a blog post after reading a thoughtful post on Brenda Schmidt’s blog about the long poem/short poem from a SWG session this fall. Funny thing is, after reading Brenda’s post I was certain I had written down exactly what Kroetsch had said, but after re-reading my notes, I wasn’t so sure anymore. It wasn’t until I had re-read the notes, and began to write this post about what I thought I knew that it began to click. In my notes I wrote: “failure of the long poem—not like this” (and I underlined “like this”). And tonight it really registered, how I thought I knew at the time what he was saying, and I wrote what I knew, thinking then that I knew what he meant, but in the end, it was/is impossible, because I don’t have it. And that’s what he was saying. The moment we have it is the moment it slips away, and we fail. But, I’m comforted by the simple fact that we “dare to fall off the page.” And that keeps us going.


    • B: And this is why I thanked you for helping me think again! Your post inspired me–and in a way it felt like a post inspired by a post was another way of accumulating!

      About the handwriting–it’s surprisingly legible for notes as usually I’m not so sure what I’ve written myself.

  1. thanks for the peek at your notes! that must have been a great session! I’ve been accumulating material, etc. for a long poem and your notes have inspired me as well. I’m sure glad I know you and Brenda.

  2. Thanks B and I! Yes, Ian it was a wonderful session. The AGM conference is always good, but this session was particularly insightful!

  3. You wrote: “The moment we have it is the moment it slips away, and we fail.” So it is with dreams, too. If I awake with a dream remembered and fail to write it down…it slips away. I’ve enjoyed checking in! Happy New Year from North Carolina USA!

  4. Been thinking about all this, and here’s a novelist’s reply. The only way to say the unsayable is to not say it, but to say something else: to show it, to make the reader think what can’t be communicated. The reader has to be led to drink of the pool that can’t be fathomed. How?

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