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Mark Leidner: “the poetic is forced to grapple with the absurdity of a Hollywood imagination”

April 5, 2012 \am\30 11:35 am

Mark Leidner interviewed by Daniel Schoonebeek at The Rumpus:

It took me a long time to realize that I had a limited definition of what form was. I was also blogging, chatting, collaging, updating statuses, telling jokes, watching movies, etc. It dawned on me that those forms were just as valid as five-beat lines; moreover, they were the native inhabitants of my imagination. It was like discovering free verse, which I had misunderstood as an abandonment of form for formlessness—instead of what it was—reaching into the universe of non-poetic forms and dragging them kicking and screaming into the context of poetry, and the farther you have to drag them the better. Maybe every poet’s work is a hybrid of the vaulted poetry they have read and the secular forms of their culture and experience. The unpoetic part of me is forced to grapple with the discipline of anaphora, alliteration, or rhythmic imperative, and the poetic is forced to grapple with the absurdity of a Hollywood imagination. Leaping one hurdle raises the height of the next. The agony of defeat, as you say, is instantly ameliorated by the excitement of the next challenge. But the opposite is true. The pleasure of victory instantly evaporates in the anxiety of the next problem. You try and try but can never hurdle the horizon. It’s honest and perverse to name this inability to ever be comfortable ‘freedom.’

Beauty was the Case that They Gave Me is reviewed here & here & here & made here.


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