The Poem’s Intention With Stephen Dobyns 2010

Poetry, as well as being an art form, is an act of communication. My role in a workshop is to lead the discussion to what the poet is attempting to communicate and determine why he or she desires to communicate it; that is, what is the poem’s intention? A poem by being, ideally, an equal mix of form and content has the potential to communicate more precisely than any other verbal form, since the manner of its telling tells as much as the matter. The discussion will focus on how the poem is written, the noises it makes, the word choices, how the information is arranged. A poem exists on the page as text and in the air as noise, so sound and sense must be constantly addressed. Since the poem has been submitted to workshop, I assume that it has yet to be completed. My job, and the job of the workshop, is to help make the poem as successful as possible. Bring 3-4 poems, 17 copies of each, for discussion.