Skip to content

Balancing What’s Known, To Licit the Exp and Imp

The narrator is implied without an explicit I because without a narrator there would be silence not words.

A lot of poems begin with I, which is to say, let me tell you about myself but is that not like a business telling a customer: let me tell you how you can help our business. What the customer wants is to know how the business can help them.

That’s the nub of good communication. The speaker is interested in the listener. Not completely in a servile or interrogation way while giving up no vulnerability but not blithely ignoring the audience either. There’s give and take in positions taken.

The speaker makes room for the listener. Too withdrawn into royal we or passive voice and the speech does not come out to greet the listener.

Too far into monologued polished stories without a stumble, and the listener does not have space to take some floor too. There has to be demonstration of desire to hook the reader.

If a poem is didactic, with a slanted point of view to convince the listener who is spoken to, as if presumed a blank slate, there isn’t the respect that the listener arrives already knowing some things and can figure out some things. The densely packed phrase presumes a listener can parse faster. The loosely packed phrase may move slower than a listener can hear.

For example off of the top, embedding what can be implied:
A) The woman was nervous. She wore rings with tall setting proving her wealth. She sat at the metal desk. She adjusted herself, contained at his remark, her hands tucking onto her lap. Still you could tell she was tense. They heard the rain drum on the window glass.
B) At the desk, the gems on her rings ticked off the metal as they fidgeted in her lap more after he made a verbal jab. Rain on the window.

To get at what is most salient, it may be obviously rising out of it all or all may need to be expanded first. If to each person I’d tell a different slice, what if I take the story I’m forming and put it in an email to Person A, decide no, I’d tell person B, delete nothing but expand where that person would need, then to C, then D….Each person is a means to get to some aspect of self so by aggregating those, it’s not only a more complete picture but a recombined self.

Related posts:

  1. motel sign motel sign blistering it’s paint in sun its metal frame in rain, proclaiming ammenity of CoLoR television each letter demonstrating to a black and white highway dotted lines unstopping world...
  2. walking until shoes squish they fall together, rain and night both warm as mother’s kisses on crown protective, solid, grounded and safe people give themelves over to rain those that fear have already scurried...

Categories: Uncategorized.

Comment Feed

One Response

  1. bother. I meant to press draft but apparently it’s posted. so be it.

    PearlJune 20, 2010 @ 6:06 pm



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.