What do you mean teaching poetry writing and wasting your time painting sober little organic, meaningful pictures?
I was released from forms,
from the perpendiculars,
straight lines, blocks, boxes, binds
into the hues, shadings, rises, flowing bends and blends
I allow myself eddies of meaning:
yield to a direction of significance
like a stream through the geography of my work
Those lines are from A.R. Ammons' poem "Corsons Inlet", and describe not only that inlet but one of his outlets beyond the printed page: painting, as you can discover in an online feature by Elizabeth Mills.
Mills says of his late-1970's watercolors:
"Painting daily, with speed and concentration, Ammons created images that allowed him to transform unconscious, but nevertheless 'blistering' emotion 'into the brilliance, the sweep and curve, the dash and astonishment (along with the cool definition, judgment, and knowledge) of still completed things.' Paintings from this period embody experimental motions corresponding to those in the poems from the mid-to-late 1970s, when he composed works such as 'Easter Morning,' written in 1978, published first in Poetry in 1979 and central to A Coast of Trees (1981)."
Her quoted bits are from his essay on the power of painting, "Changing Things" - but stilmulated by neighboring threads here, I'll end with some versified poetry criticism from Garbage on the perils of painting in words:
Creepy little creepers are insinuatingly
curling up my spine (bringing the message)
saying, Boy!, are you writing that great poem
the world's waiting for: don't you know you
have an unaccomplished mission unaccomplished;
someone somewhere may be at this very moment
dying for the lack of what W. C. Williams says
you could (or somebody could) be giving: yeah?
so, these messengers say, what do you
mean teaching school (teaching poetry and
poetry writing and wasting your time painting
sober little organic, meaningful pictures)
when values thought lost (but only scrambled into
disengagement) lie around demolished
and centerless because you (that's me, boy)
haven't elaborated everything in everybody's
Don Share became the editor of Poetry in 2013. His books of poetry are Wishbone (2012), Squandermania (2007), and Union (2013, 2002). He is the co-editor of The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (2012), and editor of Bunting's Persia (2012) and a critical edition of Basil Bunting's poems (2016). He...