So having arrived here, I read the review quickly, in a growing kind of delight. And in a typical mixing of theory and application, I found in the Tabois review an explanation for chaos theory, at least my one dimensional explanation began to poke its shiny head out and then hide just as quickly.
Tabois says: "I consider the ekphrastic poem's path of transcending its original impetus to be not that different from how a poem often leaves the poet's initial intention." From this statement, I want to draw my connection for chaos theory, as it is applied to creativity ala Gabriele Rico. One stimulus (art) carries within it random signals, impetus, reminders, inspiration, connections and other imprints upon the viewer/writer. The writer transcribes and transcends the concrete image and the result is another creation: the ekphrasic poem, quite unlike it stimulus and yet intimately tied, so much so that the poem would not exist without the art.
But then I wonder: how different is ekphrasic poetry from poetry of any other motivation? Poetry needs stimulation to exist. That stimulation might be a personal exchange, an obersvation or Kahlo's Two Fridas, as I have chosen. What is the difference in motivation? Why is the ekphrasic poem called apart from its neighbors and the ethics of its origin questioned? Is the writer any less a creator because the stuimulus is external?
Tabois actially addresses this question in a roundabout way. She says:
It seems to me that ekphrasis must fail its intention in the way that a poem becomes its own entity without necessarily adhering to the poet’s original thought. Part of poetry-making, to me, is allowing oneself the freedom to free-associate during the process itself, because a poem is not necessarily pre-determined at the outset of its creation.So she gives a tiny consensus on the significance of stimulus: it initiates the writer's imagination. Stimulus works like a key turning the ignition. But the object providing the stimulation (art, intimacy, emotion) does not drive the poem home. What gets the poem from A to B and ultimately Z is the poet. But what part of the poet? It's the admixture of dreams, skills, vocabuulary, experience, knowledge, humor and all the worlds seen, heard, felt, tasted, or otherwise sensed by that writer.This compound gets agitated by stimulus and out of a wild hybrid of person and environment, produces a poem.