Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Coherent enough"

One of my students tonight said he likes poems that are just "coherent enough." I rather like that as a definition, or ideal, for poetry. It reminds me of Todd Swift's definition: "language that somehow exceeds sense with strangeness and style." Poetry makes some sense, it somewhat coheres ... and yet.


  1. I know I won't be the only one to think of this, so I better comment fast:

    "The poem must resist the intelligence / Almost successfully" — Wallace Stevens

    (my word verification is tallize, as in to give something the inherent qualities of tallness; see also tallify)

  2. A ha! I will soon have a little collection of these almost-truisms.