About this item
Contemporary poetry is dominated by an adherence to the poetics of
Indeterminacy, in which tuneless chaos prevails over music and meaning.
In their determination to subvert the traditional conventions of poetry,
contemporary poets dismiss, in their practice, all the time-honored devices
that make poetry, such as, for example, rhythm and rhyme, symbol
and song. That is to say, they dismiss Auden's famous formulation that
poetry is "memorable speech"--a unique and compelling combination of
sound and sense.
Rather than joining my peers in their nihilistic revels, my intention, on the
contrary, is to employ the traditional practices of poetry to achieve Auden's
ideal. Taking that ideal as my own; that is, taking the practice of such
great modernists as Dickinson, Robinson, Yeats, Rilke, Pound, Eliot, Cavafy,
Stevens, Hart Crane, and Auden, I seek--against the indeterminacy that defines
contemporary poetic practice--to make poems memorable for their music and
meaning, their sound and sense.
Thus, whether attempting a lyrical love poem or a poignant memoir of my
growing up in Philly's Little Italy, my intention is to create a dramatic poetry
that is to be spoken as well as read, heard as well as seen. Therefore, my poetry
stands as a direct challenge to the nihilistic conception of poetry that rules the
contemporary literary landscape.