There have been three Monday lectures on the course and two of them have been by poetsÂ and in addition aÂ first Poetry tutorial session with Rory Waterman ( I have since requested changing to part-time so that will be last Poetry session until next year). I have had a hefty poetic boot up the arse so to speak which just as well as rest of this first year will be dedicated mostly to short stories in David Belbin’s fiction class:-)
Sarah Jackson’s session was interesting although it did seem to focus on the psychological aspect of writing with Freud mentioned several times. I enjoyed reading Mark Strand again and have realised that as well as the volume ‘Darker’ I have a ‘Selected Poems’ by him.
Rory Waterman’s first session was interesting with a focus on a 12 line poem. Mine so old it was virtually redundant to workshop but an interesting experience.
For my influential single volume of poetry I selected Raymond Carver’s Fires and Carver will probably be my selected writer to focus on in the Theory and Practice assignment due 1st December unless someÂ new revelation occurs.
Finally Andrew Taylor gave this week’s lecture on ‘Literary Influence’ which was very interesting even if he did insist on attacking us with J.H.Prynne’s Â obscurantisms 🙂
I hadn’t read Prynne..I’d purchased and shelved in the ‘outside my comfort zone’ section alongside Reading, Olsen, Zukovsky, Harwood, McDiarmid and White…i.e. read at a later date…in my case very much later. But I am perservering so that at least if I reject the Cambridge School a second time it with some insight rather than just blind prejudice. On first read through I can see the debt to McDiarmid (archaic glacial verbiage) and the Objectivists clarity of language and layout BUT…and it is a big BUT…I still do not warm to it. Never have…something academic and stoney at its (mostly white middle class male ) heart. I always felt it was poetryÂ like trainspotting. The plethora of footnotes and referencing ( I almost include Geoffrey Hill here too) I find too self-referential ..too clubby and knowing in a way. As if it designed to be obscure to preserve its integrity which a concept I simply do not buy into. Like Cobbing and the Concrete poets I suspect that half of it good half of it nonsense obscured by clouds. Prepared to persevere though.