Sunday, December 11, 2005


"The poet's task," says C.Day Lewis, "…is to recognize pattern wherever he sees it, and to build his perceptions into a poetic form which by its urgency and coherence will persuade us of their truth."

"…a poem, to be really successful, must exist at just that point of complexity or difficulty which stimulates the reader to perceive the pattern rather than obscures it for him."

Both these statements come from The Poetic Pattern, Robin Skelton (Greenwood Press, 1976). Skelton preambles his book on what he sees as the human's desire for and inability to achieve independent completeness. Thus, the poem is created. Through it, patterns in dissimilar things are discovered and answers to the dilemmas we fret about day to day are uncovered. But for pattern making, for this revelatory experience to occur, the poem must be visible. The reader must see the pattern.Obfuscation is just that. It doesn't serve the purpose of revealing pattern.

This concept caught me in its simplicity. Then like any good writing or any good reasoning, it became metaphorical. This is about chaos. This is about the order that sustains chaos. Pattern is nothing less than the internal web, the mucilage that holds together disparate elements. The pattern is the glue.

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