Lavinia Greenlaw asks, "So nothing new exactly, except perhaps for the notion of the poem not belonging to the poet. Are we ready for that?"

Are we?  Are we ready for the poem not belonging to the poet?

Are we ever!  This is the oldest and perennial state of poetry.  We are ready for it as we are ready for microbrewed beer and organic local produce.  The sooner the better, this poem that doesn't belong to the poet.

But how? Transpose a letter.  But who?  The who is the how.

A ballad, an epic.  A lyric that comes out of the air.  What do they have in common?

The who is the poem itself, and the poem itself must be something in addition to the language it's made of, and that something is what makes it a ballad or an epic or a lament for the makaris.

Timor mortis conturbat me.

A boy's will is the wind's will, and the thoughts of youth are long long thoughts.

I think we need our tools back.

Originally Published: April 20th, 2012

Annie Finch is the author or editor of more than twenty books of poetry, plays, translation, literary essays, textbooks, and anthologies, including the poetry collections Eve (1997), Calendars (2003), and Spells: New and Selected Poems (2012), and the long poems The Encyclopedia of Scotland (1982) and Among the Goddesses: An Epic...