Stephen Dobyn’s Poetry

Stephen Dobyns quote moving aroundI read a poem by Stephen Dobyns, I’m not sure where, but I knew I wanted to more about his process so I purchased next word, better word  the craft of writing poetry.

At random, I opened the book to page 92 and liked what Dobyns says, “The poet keeps our interest by using a multitude of surprises in form and content. To say something that the reader hasn’t thought of constitutes a surprise, and to say something that the reader knows but in a new way can also be a surprise. Anything unexpected functions as a surprise–an idea, a word, a sound, a line break, and so on…But once the surprise has occurred, the reader tries to fit it into the whole. Does the surprise exist to heighten and expand our sense of the entire poem, or is it used for its own sake as a rhetorical device to give false energy to one part of the poem?…Right away the reader will try to determine the reason for this surprise..If no reason is forthcoming, the poet’s credibility is in jeopardy.”

Dobyns book is easy to understand and it’s inspiring.

Stephen Dobyns poet

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