Steps Forward

So it’s been a few weeks since my last post. Things have been a bit busy. However I haven’t given up and I’ve started looking at another book, this one published in 1983, titled “Reading and Writing Poetry: Successful Approaches for the Student and Teacher.”

Overall I’ve found this book to be a lot more insightful than the last one. However, the usefulness of this insight remains to be seen. The book starts out with the opinions of several poets on the act of writing poetry. The authors assure that these people are experts and that we as readers should take their opinions as sage wisdom. Yet, after reading several accounts I’m not very impressed. Most of them are a perhaps a bit too subjective for me. The poets seem to dislike life, and have a poor view of people who are not fellow practitioners of the art. I didn’t find this particularly welcoming to the novice.

On the positive, I think I’ve identified a current that runs through all of the different accounts on what makes good poetry. All of them in one way or another mention creative energies of some sort. They get inspirations from colours, scenes, or studies of other poets. One of the perspectives gave a list of things that every poet should be familiar with, and this prominently featured an understanding of at least one form of traditional magic. I decided to go and investigate numerology.

I picked up another book, “Numerology: Or What Pythagoras Wrought.” the author is a Doctor of Mathematics and a professor of the same. He doesn’t look kindly on the subject of numerology, but provides a lot of very well researched information as to its history; Pythagoras and his cult featuring prominently. I’ve also gleaned some knowledge about a German form of poetry that was popular in the 18th century called “Paragrams.” Essentially it is poetry based around Gematria. The ancient Greek number notation system which gave each letter of the alphabet a different number value. I think that this sort of poetry may be right up my alley. It’s history oriented, it’s related to mathematics, and it may be fun. The bibliography gives details of a book published in 1991 pertaining to paragrams. I will certainly get it interlibrary loaned.

All said, I think that it is more important for me as a beginner to learn about the mechanics of poetry before I delve into the “meanings” of things. I’ll continue my investigations and keep you posted.

Thank you for reading.

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