Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Poet Must Do Some Digging in Serious Dirt - John Stone, POET OF THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY

Physician Poet John Stone talked about the poetry process as a way of going deep. I was privaleged to hear him in writing classes and workshops he taught at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta and at Winthrop College in South Carolina, back when I first began to write poems. What stuck with me all these years was John Stone's belief that poetry has to go below the surface. The poet must do some digging in "serious dirt."

Poets often discuss the poetry process as an act of going deep, digging up something, bringing up something that was buried below the surface, such as finding the ore, mining for gold. The metphor of fishing comes up in such a discussion of the poetry process. The poet casts a line, snags something, hooks something that lies below in the murky deep. Seamus Heaney's famous poem " Digging" is an example as is Adreinne Rich's famous poem "Diving Into the Wreck."

Here are two poems by poet John Stone. "Digging" and "Looking Into a Ditch" show his writing process. These are two poems I read again and again and often share with my students. --Nancy Simpson


Pat Workman said...

I certainly agree with John Stone on this. Sadly, I couldn't download the plug required to listen to his reading. Even so, this reminded me of one of the most important tools required for writing poetry.

Your blog is pure gold.
Thank you Nancy! Pat

Nancy Simpson said...

Pat, Thank you for saying that.

Anonymous said...

Nancy, Hat's off to all your poetry publications recently. Also, I've enjoyed reading John Stones poems. Your blog is growing! Glenda Barrett

tipper said...

Nancy-I enjoyed both these poems by Stone-would be hard for me to choose which is my favorite between these and the others you've already shared.