Has this ever happened to anyone you know?

Following his early career success, a fictional revolutionary poet in Nabokov’s short story A Forgotten Poet, grasps for straws in the pond of ineptitude in his follow-up collection.

“… he had got hold of some German philosopher or other, and several of these poems are distressing because of the grotesque attempt at combining an authentic lyrical spasm with a metaphysical explanation of the universe…”

Do you, or someone you know, suffer from lyrical spasm? Are you tempted to dot your poems with the names of philosophers or literary theorists? It’s not too late to stop. Help is at hand. Just say no.


21 thoughts on “Has this ever happened to anyone you know?”

  1. i’m reading spasm as “authentic” and thinking that the grotesque my be to fit to theory. And sadly, yes, that’s a danger i know. but maybe theory is a form of a sort of religious idea, making sense of the world – and that has always been associated with poetry i think, its just maybe that sense of desperate grasping that’s the thing, lost in the world and to it, and i know that, I think, not from collection point of view but yes from grasping for poetry, to find myself

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    1. Yes. We can’t always, if ever, write from confidence and knowing. What do we do when confronted with our inadequacies? How do we negotiate that when writing a poem? Grasp for authentic things, like you say, yes.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi >> Monica!!! actually new lyric. First, the philosophical, not to regard the world as a mere backdrop of one’s own boredom, but as a problem, (( GOETHE most subjective of all kinds sets the presence)

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      1. Dear Goethe. I live here around the corner 400 km, where he was born, in his Bucher shelves was also found dense books from Arabia, in a TV report Deko)), so the apple not far away from stamm, Eva and Adam son and daughter, are everywhere to meet.(((((*L*)))))) Thanks XXXL

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