Minimalist Poetry

6 07 2008

Somebody started a discussion about minimalism in poetry over at the AW message board.  I read through the links that somebody provided, and after about twenty minutes not only did I have an expert’s grasp of the subject, but was in fact qualified to write my own minimalist poem, and add it to the body of minimalistically poetical work that is already out there.

By the way, if anyone is writing a wiki article on this subject, please be sure to mention me, and my minimalist poem, as I am now probably the foremosttalented writer of this kind of thing.  In fact, you can link right to this post, which should save you a lot of unnecessary thinking and typing and so on.

So, here’s my minimalist poem, entitled Decisions…

poorpprorcon?

I think the first thing that you will immediately notice is how deeply layered the poem is, for all of it’s obvious sparsity.  Before reading further, spend some time in this masterpiece…let it foam up around you, as it were…and see how many different layers of meaning–all related to the concept of Decisions–that you can find on your own.

As we deconstruct this poem, keep the title–Decisions–in mind.

Upon our initial examination, our eyes are drawn immediately to the poem’s first, or primary, layer of meaning: POOR ORC ON?  Why is the orc poor?  What is the orc on?  I don’t know.  That’s your decision…

Deeper, more thoughtful reading of the poem begins to reveal greater mysteries, though.  For example, when you read it slowly and thoughtfully, you are suddenly confronted with POO OR PP PRO OR CON?  Do you need to poo, or pee pee?  Are you for or against either of those things, or anything else in particular?  Why are some people PROfessionals, while others are CONvicts?  I guess these are more decisions that we will have to make, aren’t they?

Finally–and perhaps most telling as to the poet’s intent–if you back a few more feet away from the computer screen and read this marvelous work, it sort of looks like I was trying to type the word POPCORN while having a sneezing fit.

That must mean something…

I leave it for you to decide.

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6 responses

6 07 2008
gbem1

I like the humor here, but I’m interested it knowing who you consider to be other minimalist poets.

6 07 2008
sak6

That’s an excellent question. Some of the poet’s that I found by following the links in the workshop are George Swede, Richard Kostelanetz, and Aram Saroyan. Further research will reveal more of these poets, I am sure. All kidding aside, there is certainly more “to” minimalist poetry than I imagined.

Thanks for reading!

6 07 2008
gbem1

Do you consider Creeley a minimalist, at times?

6 07 2008
sak6

Haven’t read him, but there is a fellow over at the AW message board in the poetry forums who mentions him in that context. Now that you have brought it to my attention as well, I will make it a point to read this poet’s work.

Thank you.

7 07 2008
gbem1

No problem. I recommend the book “Words” or the book “Mirrors” for his more condensed poetry.

13 07 2008
Pete Tzinski

Both books are available as IttyBittyPocketBooks, roughly the size of a matchbook.

And it’s really just one piece of paper, folded in half.

(With matches in the middle.)

(Very minimalist).

😀

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