Contributions by Gerry LaFemina

The Delicacy of the Image

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Poetics, Prose

Much has been said about the importance of the image to the poem. Images function as touchstones in poetry, they help create the landscape of the poem, provide a means by which the reader imagines the world and context of the poem’s thinking. They are the things that embody ideas, as it were, but they …

On a Poetic Voice

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Poetics, Prose

Many years ago PBS ran a series of television shows about American poetry called Voices & Visions. Each episode focused on one great American poet, and I think that name, Voices & Visions sums up nicely what poetry becomes about for each of us who write it. Voice and vision share a symbiotic relationship within …

Poetry & Risk

By | Blog Archives, Prose

Poetry is risky business. All the time, I hear poetry teachers urging their students to take risks, and usually, what they mean, is write about “risky” subject matter. But what makes subject matter risky—writing about the body? Sorry folks, people have been doing that for years. Writing about drug use? Sexual assault? Running away from …

Rookeries and Red Wheelbarrows: Some Thoughts on the Poetic Line

By | Blog Archives, Gerry LaFemina, Prose

What makes a poem a poem?  Well, we all accept that a poem is written in lines, rather than sentences, but what does that mean for us as poets?  Where do lines “break” and who breaks them?  The phrase makes it so accidental, when really line is one of the most deliberate of our choices.  …

Grains of Dust

By | Blog Archives, Poetics, Prose

“My imagination is a monastery, and I am its monk.” – Keats to Shelley * For me writing is the closest thing I have to religious experience. Whether it’s because, through the act, I open a trapdoor into some Jungian subconscious, or it speaks to the transcendental nature of words themselves, or it’s something else …