Date of Award
Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)
Colby College. English Dept.
John R. Sweney
In the preface to his long poem, Paterson, William Carlos Williams writes that "the poet thinks with his poem, in that lies his thought." I believe that I also "think with my poems," so that to get outside of them, to talk about my poems as a group, is like trying to analyze the processes of my mind. I use an imagistic technique in writing my poems. My poems are often long chains of images that seem quite unrelated in any rational way. What I am trying to do is break down the rational design of things so that I can get at a more subconscious or emotional level of order. Bizarre juxtapositions of images often appear on the paper uncontrollably. Each poem becomes a puzzle, or a wrestling match, in which I must untangle the strands, find the hidden path. Often there is a particular image, say an image of wings, or snow, or the color red, which aids the reader in getting at the meaning. Arranging my poems in the last month for the final copy of my project became another kind of adventure. Only when I reread the poems with the idea of organizing them did I discover certain things which unify the collection. Although I'd thought of the title, The Journey Out, over a year ago, I never realized how many of them really are concerned with a journey or a quest. But I guess the writing of every poem is a quest, and a discovery.
Recommended CitationWise, Peter, "The Journey Out" (1977). Senior Scholar Papers. Paper 531.
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