“the blue heron stole a little book / of recipes”

JACK COLLOM
3-4-00, from blue heron & ibc
ecopoetics volume 2, page 53

I enjoy reading Jack Collom. I find his work gentle, intriguing, childlike. I like the Blue Heron selections a lot. They remind me of Native American poetry that personifies animals. I’ve been prejudiced against the personification of animals, because I so dislike commercials that personify animals to sell products. But these poems made me appreciate personification as at least an imaginative act that engages another species in a rather familiar way. An “approach.”

I read Jack Collom’s extended essay online: An Ecosystem of Writing Ideas.

A few quotes that mesh with my own thoughts about ecopoetry:

If poetry is, as I believe, the sort of writing in which the intimate relationality of each phrase, word, and syllable to its surroundings is most crucial, then poetry is an intensely ecological study in itself, and poems written about poetry are doubly ecological. All of the methods mentioned here, and more, serve to illuminate poetry to its own exploratory eye. (eco12.html)

Availability of forms should be multiplied by several hundred. To make this availability felt, the emphasis of “nature’s” definition must be moved to say something like “that within which we bob and swim.” This will be, for all practical purposes, an infinity to work in.

Someone might argue that we should each master one or two forms (styles, genres), but I think that generally with creative writing, as with learning different languages, the more variety you undertake the more unity of essence (mastery, coverage) you achieve. Were someone to argue that depth is more important than breadth I’d say depth consists of variation even more than breadth does. (eco12.html)

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