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Idea #1 Know Your Goal.
If you don’t know in which you’re heading, how can you get there?
You need to know what you are trying to attain before you begin virtually any project. Producing a composition is no exemption.
Before you begin, ask what you want your poem to do. Do you want the poem to explore a personal experience, protest a social injustice, describe beauty of nature, or perhaps play with vocabulary in a certain way? Once your know the goal of the poem, you may conform your writing to this goal. Have each primary element in the poem and make that serve the primary purpose of the poem.
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S ometimes difficult and often very funny, Sir Geoffrey Hill – who perished this week, old 84 – was one particular Britain’s very best living poets. He awarded a rare audience to Sameer Rahim with this interview, initial published in December 2013
Geoffrey Mountainis arguably the greatest post-war poet. Within the last 50 years he has developed searching, searing work on England’s troubled record, the Holocaust, the meaning of Christianity and the decline of modern culture.
When I interviewedSeamus Heaneylast season, he was full of praise pertaining to Hill: He has a solid sense from the importance of the upkeep of speech, Heaney told me, a deep academic sense with the religious and political underpinning of everything in Britain. The novelistColm Tóibínis another bayer. Every key phrase he uses has a impression that it was examined and sifted not only in the sunshine of simple experience, he tells me via email, but in the full mild of knowledge, and with the full realization of how dark, ambiguous and misleading expertise can be. He is a poet, provides Tóibín, who also seeks to lift language beyond itself.
Despite prestigious supporters, even though, Hill never received the most popular acclaim or prizes lavished on Philip Larkin,Allen Hughesand Heaney. His work is dismissed for being old fashioned and obscure. He can rarely educated in schools. In one notorious attack, Tom Paulin accused him to be a wardrobe fan of Enoch Powell. In The Success of Love (1998), Hill summed up what many inside the poetry establishment think of him: Rancorous, narcissistic old sod – what / makes him continue?
B etween late 1950s and 1983 he published five literature of beautifully constructed wording. During the following 13 numerous years of near silence he suffered with depression together a double bypass. As Canaan (1996) he continues to be resurgent, making a collection almost every year. Presently Oxford professor of poetry, he is right now also Friend Geoffrey Hillside – last year’s knighthood accepted to honour his parents. Now arrives the summation of his life’s work:Busted Hierarchies: Poetry 1952-2012.
After instructing at Boston University pertaining to 18 years, Hill is definitely settled last England, close to Cambridge. We meet him at the rectory he stocks and shares with his American wife Alice Goodman, a librettist and Church of England clergyman. Resembling a cross between Michelangelo’s Jeremiah and Santa claus, Hill greets me with diligent good manners. On the rectory walls are photographs of his father and mother William and Hilda fantastic aunt Avoi: the three dedicatees of Cracked Hierarchies. I spy a print of Hogarth’s The Distrest Poet person – a marriage present, this individual tells me.
They would ill was developed in Bromsgrove in 1932, the child of a authorities constable. My father almost never read, says Hillside in his abundant, grave tone. My mom was a very keen audience but the lady read going around library novels. Like a boy this individual loved the comic Car radio Fun and in The Triumph of affection recalls: In Scripture course, / underneath the desk cover, perilous comic strips as well as of denture blown from trumpets. (Later this individual sold his comics to obtain The Wind inside the Willows. ) At On the school he won Palgrave’s Golden Treasury and fell in love, instantly wanting to make a move that might equivalent or go beyond the secret beauty of the things. 1 Christmas, his parents bought him the essays ofTS Eliot.
A side via reading, what truly kindled his thoughts was seeing German bombers over Bromsgrove. It was a strange metaphysical super actuality, he tells me. Here were these types of peculiar, businesslike – sinisterly businesslike – winged issues. He pauses. I can still bear in mind the odd frisson of computer. Strange as it sounds that incident – which can’t have lasted more than a day and a half – has determined for the rest of warring the way I have perceived selected juxtapositions of the real and the surreal. One is simultaneously afraid, appalled and curiously detached. Which is as good a description of your poem?nternet site can think about.
He also found Coventry bombed from a distance. It was night time and on the eastern horizon there was a reddish-bronzy pulsing light, he says. 60 years later on he would talk about the experience: huge silent whumps / of flame-shadow bronzing the night time / cloud-base of her now famous dust. If he saw video footage of the death camps sometime later it was learned about the atom explosive device, he came into a fresh and terrible dimension of existence, he says. I’m never considering watching videos of catalogs by Lewis or Tolkien or – who’s thatHarry Knitterwoman? – because whenever they attempt to juxtapose the normal with all the supernormal – the school place suddenly becoming a focus to get evil or perhaps whatever – I don’t need it. I’ve had my fix.
Hill’s poetry are haunted by atrocity. September Song from King Log (included in full below) elegises a young child murdered by Nazis. Her dates happen to be below the name: born 19. 6. thirty-two – deported 24. on the lookout for. 42. That was uncanny, Hill tells me. I went to an exhibition of children’s art from Terezín … 19. 6. thirty-two is eventually after my own birthday. In asking why this individual lives and she does not the composition is as very much about the poet as the girl: a tension identified in the bracketed stanza: (I have made / an keen for me it / is true).
T his scrupulousness as to what can be written about the Holocaust – his efforts to create what Tóibín calls a responsible music – can be obliquely addressed in History as Poetry from the same collection. Poetry / Unearths from among the list of speechless deceased / Lazarus mystified, prevalent man as well as Of fatality. Is definitely Lazarus mystified, puzzled or perhaps obscured, because they are brought back to our lives? What does the unearthing feel like coming from his viewpoint? (Incidentally, this is dramatised in Tóibín’s last new The Testament of Mary. )
L ill permits this presentation. He feels poems will need to stand impartial of their founder. He rates the choreographerMark Morris, a household friend who have worked with Goodman. Morris declared in a recent interview: I’m not enthusiastic about self-expression in expressiveness. Hill says he put perfectly what I’ve been trying to claim gropingly and inadequately for many years. The idea that you write to express your self seems to myself revolting. The concept you write to glorify in order to make marvelous the art of expressiveness seems to me personally spot on.
At Oxford in the Fifties, Hill’s greatest poetic affects were American: John Berryman and Allen Tate, in whose poem Ode to the Confederate Dead was especially important to him. After Oxford this individual taught at Leeds and published his first collection, For the Unfallen, in 1959. Most of these poems had been composed while hiking through Worcestershire: the first distinctive line of the starting poem Genesis reads: Against the swollen air We strode / Crying the miracles of God. He appreciated the work of his friend Tony Harrison (I might have loved to acquire written an e book called The School of Eloquence) but the Movement poets left him cold – especially Larkin.
To hough this individual paid a subscription to Larkin’s first collection The Less Deceived, when he opened it this individual felt no flicker of sympathy whatsoever. Did this individual like nothing at all? There happen to be two poetry by Larkin that I just like very much – they’re both equally very early. One is referred to as ‘Wedding-Wind’ as well as the other is called ‘Next, Please’. The final collection is: ‘In her wake up / Simply no waters breed or break’. I think I thought it was good because it’s Hill-ish.
But for the rest? Number I thought these were dull and finger-wagging. And i also disliked all their prim moralising.
In 1964, the critic Captain christopher Ricks helped bring Hill’s work to a larger audience with an article inside the London Magazine. Ricks writes via email: I bought his initially book, To get the Unfallen, and have hardly ever found that other than moving and mountain-moving. Hill says he was very grateful intended for the attention about what was then a prestigious newsletter. Over the years Ricks has been his finest essenti – although they have disagreed, notably over Larkin.
They are never of one mind, all those two, says Goodman, joining the conversation. When I was fresh, she says, going coming from a Ricks to a Mountain lecture was just like going coming from 78rpm to 33rpm.
She means that Christopher was quick and scintillating and I was laborious and convoluted, says Hill.
I am informed of a Blake quotation Ricks used in a recent essay in Hill: Opposition is true Companionship. Exactly, Mountain says.
A nother good area to get Hill is religion. Most of his sentirse dramatises a passionate wrestling with faith. Is he a Christian poet? Well, it’s a marking, isn’t it? says Hill. They tag you with a convenient epithet. He pauses. I’m reasonably au renseign with the Christian documentation. I’m quite capable to use biblical terms. He converts to the Add some opuch Alice Goodman: Can My answer is that I dislike the House of worship of Great britain in a lot of ways damaging you? he asks. The former Archbishop of CanterburyRowan Williamshas drafted appreciatively for the following lines from Canaan: I declare it is not faithless / to stand devoid of faith, keeping open / vigil with the site. One reasons why Williams and also other members in the clergy appreciate Hill, Goodman claims, is usually because this individual expresses the items about the Church and about the trust that they sensed but cannot in their placement articulate. But she reminds him this individual has written sensitively upon Vaughan’s and Donne’s function. Yes, he response, because it’s excellent and interesting. Not mainly because I instantly feel that Vaughan is a close friend in the faith or that reading Donne converted myself to a appreciate of Christ.
G oodman points out that he kneels with the Church ceremony on Sundays. Her hubby, she says, can be communicant nevertheless resentful.
When did My answer is that? says Slope.
You didn’t, I just explained it today.
It sounds like myself.
I’ve been committed to you for a few years, she says drily.
Hill’s perceived political views may get him into warm water than virtually any religious questions. In Mercian Hymns this individual included the line, To enjoy the Tiber foaming away much blood vessels, adapted from Virgil, but manufactured infamous simply by Enoch Powell in his late 1960s anti-immigration talk. Reviewing Hill in 85, Paulin had written: It would be tempting to detect a Powelite stress in Hill’s conservatism. The affiliation pains Slope: I truly feel angry and helpless and hopeless for being and so misunderstood. Since he feels simply no affinity with Powell so why did he allude to him? It’s a public utterance which if it is made public is available for expressive use … I tried it as an available item of rhetoric in the structuring of a rhetorical design. Alluding to the Jesuit martyr Robert Southwell’s phrases about his torturer, Slope concludes: Anyone who can help to make such an fundamental gaffe when ever reading a poem and still insist on it appears to me not really susceptible to reason.
Exactly what his politics? I’ve explained myself in public as a Ruskinian Tory, although adding: it is just Ruskinian Tories who could be seen as Marxists these days. His work shows a profound sympathy pertaining to the struggling working classes of the nineteenth century. He commemorates the labours of his family in Mercian Hymns and 2005’s Moments from Comus: Severn-side blacksmiths and nailers who must have bled. What about modern politics? We’re free to vote for the oligarchs, he admits that, we’re free to vote for the jailers. He believes much contemporary poetry can be complicit with power. The language they think of because democratic anti-elitist are really the scraps in the English language that have fallen from the feasting tables with the oligarchs. This kind of ordinary-language poetry isn’t democratic at all: it’s servile. Yes, servile.
A in Oxford spiel last year accepted task the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy intended for suggesting that text messaging might be a useful channel for beautifully constructed wording. He likewise took a swipe at creative writing courses, saying one of her poems could easily always be mistaken for a first efforts by one of many young people the girl wishes to encourage. Failing to teach anyone to write is a type of charlatanism, he believes. If you’re giving persons confidence on paper about what they will know then simply whatever it truly is you’re carrying it out has nothing to do with poems. You’re offering a kind of remedy.
Hill’s poetry is far from being ordinary-language. But he robustly defends his directly to be imprecise. To say that a poet person is to be ruined because she refers to this diet of Earthworms and we don’t know what the Diet of Earthworms is – is it some thing on MasterChef? – or perhaps is inaccessible because she invokes several field of vision which will we have trouble grasping: this seems to me a kind of crass bullying. Kenneth Haynes, the publisher of Damaged Hierarchies, tells me via email that though you can check out the sources, the rflexion isn’t hard part with Hill’s poems … the difficulty simply begins following looking issues up.
My spouse and i n virtually any case, says Hill, you can always use Yahoo. He, nevertheless , stays away from online globe. I might just hate to be in thrall to the internet. Goodman, by contrast, with excitement uses social websites. During the conversation she snaps us with her phone and posts each of our photos about Facebook. Hill admits his wife sometimes tells me what has been in Facebook, if she believes it will curiosity me.
H ill’s renaissance since 1996 has been attributed to antidepressants. I request him about another supply: George Eliot. In his composition Redeeming the Time, he picks holes in her 1868 personal pamphlet drafted in the words of the major Felix Holt. What it excludes, wrote Mountain, is the antiphonal voice in the heckler – a voice to issue the author’s assumptions. It was most likely true that in thinking about George Eliot I discovered me personally using a expression like the ‘voice of the heckler’, he confesses. Indeed in later choices he provides great fun heckling himself: he mocks his Up the Hill Difficulty (a nod to Bunyan); refers to himself as an obnoxious chthonic old fart (Paulin known as him a chthonic nationalist); and says he can out-rap rappers, only he’s a Bit in short supply of puff these kinds of days.
His attacks for the Entertainment overkill of modern lifestyle speaks to what Heaney referred to as his acute distress with the falling apart of standards. This generally takes the shape of a stinky grumpiness. Inside the poem Broken Hierarchies, coming from Without Title (2006), an English landscape can be lashed by a storm: the roadway seedlings ten 1000 flowerets, / storm-paddies instantly reaped, replenished, / and again slice down. All those flattened roadside flowers make an emblem of tawdry The uk. I distinction hierarchy with hegemony, Hill tells me. (Bless structure, dismiss hegemony, / Thus I work to conclusion he publishes articles in his newest sequence, The Daybooks. )
This elitist strain appeals to some and appals others. In some moods it’s what exactly I need. Nevertheless I prefer what he before described as his juxtapositions with the real and the surreal: a global in which Ruler Offa of Mercia is overlord from the M5 and the Royalist music performer William Lawes auditions in Ronnie Scott’s. I try to make a distinction between enjoyment and joy, says Hillside. You’re only prepared to enjoy what you have already a preference for: although joy is definitely shocking and surprising. What is most joyfully surprising in Hill’s poems (to me) is if he takes the moral surroundings in largest view. When he writes inside the Triumph of Love, there is igneous, sedimentary, / conglomerate, nevertheless particular grace, / specific love, decency, endurance, as well as are traceable across the faults.
M roken Hierarchies: Poems 1952-2012 is printed by OUP at £31. 50
Tip #8 Subvert the Ordinary.
Poets’ power is thecapacity to see how many other people see everyday within a new way. You don’t have to be special or a literary professional to write very good poems–all you need to do is take an ordinary target, place, person, or thought, and come up with a new perception of it.
Example:People ride the bus everyday.
Poets’ Interpretation:A poet discusses the people on the bus and imagines moments from their lives. A poet person sees a sixty-year outdated woman and imagines a grandmother who also runs marathon races. A poet person sees a two-year older boy and imagines him painting with ruby toenail polish for the toilet couch, and his mom struggling not to respond in anger.
Take the regular and turn this on the head. (The word subvert literally means turn benefit down. )
Tip #2 Avoid Clichés
Sophie Minot specifies aclichéas: A metaphor or simile that has been so familiar from overuse that the vehicle … will no longer contributes virtually any meaning what ever to the mezzo-soprano. It provides not the vividness of a clean metaphor nor the strength of just one unmodified word…. The word is usually used to identify overused but nonmetaphorical expression such as ‘tried and true’ and ‘each and every’ (Three Types: The Producing of Poems, Fiction and Drama, 405).
Clichéalso describes various other overused fictional elements. Familiar plot patterns and inventory characters happen to be clichés over a big scale (Minot 148). Clichés may be overused themes, character types, or and building plots. For example , the Lone Ranger cowboy is actually a cliché as it has been employed so many times that individuals no longer still find it original.
A piece full of clichés is like a plate of old meals: unappetizing.
More imaginative writing guidelines.
Clichés function against unique communication. People value imaginative talent. They need to see job that rises above the norm. When they see a work with no clichés, they know the copy writer has worked his or her tail off, doing whatever it takes to be unique. When they view a work full to the brim with clichés, they believe that the writer is certainly not showing all of them anything over a ordinary. (In case you hadn’t discovered, this paragraph is chock full of clichés… I’ll bet you were bored to tears. )
Clichés dull meaning. Since clichéd publishing sounds and so familiar, people can complete finish whole lines without even reading all of them. If they don’t trouble to read your poem, they certainly won’t stop to think about it. If perhaps they do not think about it about your poem, they will never encounter the deeper connotations that indicate the work of your accomplished poet.
Idea #9 Vocally mimic eachother with Extreme care.
Vocally mimic eachother and meter (the design of anxious and unstressed words) may be dangerous if perhaps used the wrong way. Remember sing-song nursery rhymes? If you choose a rhyme scheme that makes your poem audio sing-song, it is going to detract from the quality of the poem.
I suggest thatbeginning poets stay with free verse. It is hard enough to compose a poem without dealing with the intricacies of rhyme and meter. (Note: see Jerz’s response to this time, in Poetry Is For the Ear. )
If you feel ready to create a rhymed poem, make reference to chapters 6-10 of Sophie Minot’s book3 Genres: The Writing of Poetry, Fiction, and Episode. six th impotence., for more help.
How to Improve a Cliché
I will take the cliché as busy being a bee and have absolutely how you can express the same thought without cliché.
- Determine what the clichéd phrase is trying to say.In this case, I can see that busy as a bee is a way to describe your being active.
- Think of a unique way to explain what the cliché is trying to explain.For this cliché, I began by considering busyness. Specialists myself the question, What things are associated with being busy? I developed: college, my buddy Jessica, organization bosses, aged ladies making quilts and canning merchandise, and a pc, fiddlers fiddling. From this list, I picked a thing that can be not as often used in association with demands: violins.
- Make a phrase making use of the non-clichéd method of description.I actually took my own object connected with busyness and turned it into a phrase: I feel as if a ribbon and bow fiddling a great Irish fishing reel. This kind of phrase communicates the idea of busyness much better than the worn-out, familiar cliché. The reader’s mind can photo the ridiculous fury in the bow within the violin, and know that the poet is talking about a very frenzied type of busyness. Actually those visitors who know what an Irish reel seems like may even obtain a laugh away of this fresh way to describe busyness.
Try it! Require a cliché and use actions to improve it. You may also end up with a line you experience is good enough to put in a poem!
Poems is for the Ear No matter what poetry you write or go through, learn to listen closely with the the ears of your market. Pay attention to the sounds the words help to make, even if you write in totally free verse.
Brief Poems: Small Exquisite Ships of Thought–A couple of good lines of verse can pack as much emotional content as a whole paragraph of ordinary prose. Just because a composition is short does not mean writing it is convenient.
Getting School Credit to your High School Poetry–Poems that perfectly record how you believed about incidents in your existence probably won’t work as syndication for school writing classes. Most instructors will expect you to revise in-progress poetry.
|Concerning this Page|
|Kara Ziehl, a UWEC innovative writing major, compiled these guidelines in order to help students within my English 128 (Introduction to College Writing) course. I have fine-tuned and broadened her textual content somewhat, nevertheless I think your woman did an outstanding job this is right nowrequired studying for future student poetsin my classes. –DGJ|
Suggestion #6 Work with Concrete Terms Instead of Summary Words.
Tangible wordsillustrate things that individuals experience with all their senses.
A person can see fruit, feel warm, or perhaps hear a cat.
Poets use concrete terms help the reader get a picture of the actual poem is usually talking about. When the reader has a picture of what the composition is referring to, he/she can easily better determine what the poet person is discussing.
Summary wordsrefer to concepts or perhaps feelings.
Liberty is a principle, happy can be described as feeling, with out one can agree on whether love is a sense, a concept or perhaps an action.
A person can’t see, contact, or preference any of these things. As a result, the moment used in poetry, these words might basically fly in the reader’s mind, without activating any physical response. Further, liberty, happy, and love can mean different things to different persons. Therefore , in case the poet uses such anything, the reader will take a different meaning from it than the poet intended.
Tip #3 Avoid Sentimentality.
Sentimentality is dominated by a straight-forward appeal to the emotions of pity and love …. Popular topics are young puppies, grandparents, and young lovers (Minot 416). When visitors have the sense that feelings like trend or violence have been pressed artificially for his or her own reason, they will not take the poem seriously (132).
Minot says the fact that problem with sentimentality is that it detracts from the literary top quality of your operate (416). In case your poetry can be mushy or teary-eyed, your readership may honestly rebel against your effort to invoke mental response in them. If perhaps that happens, they may stop taking into consideration the issues you would like to raise, and can instead dedicate their strength trying to control their own gag reflex.
Tip #5 Use Metaphor and Simile.
Employ metaphor and simile to get imagery and concrete terms into your composing.
A metaphor is a declaration that pretends one thing is very something else:
Example:The lead singer is definitely an hard-to-find salamander.
This term does not mean which the lead singer is literally a salamander. Rather, it takes an abstract characteristic of a salamander (elusiveness) and projects that onto anybody. By using metaphor to describe the lead singer, the poet person creates a a lot more vivid picture of them than in the event the poet acquired simply said The lead singer’s voice is hard to pick out.
A simile is actually a statement to say one object is comparable to another target. Similes utilize words like or as.
Case:He was curious as being a caterpillar or perhaps He was curious, like a caterpillar
This kind of phrase requires one top quality of a caterpillar and jobs it on to a person. It is an convenient way to install concrete images to feelings and figure traits that might usually become described with abstract words and phrases.
Be aware: A simile is not automatically any longer or much less poetic than the usual metaphor. You don’t suddenly produce better poems in the event you replace all your similes with metaphors, or perhaps vice versa. The point to remember is that comparison, inference, and suggestion are all important tools of poetry; similes and metaphors are equipment that will help in those areas.
Suggestion #7 Connect Theme.
Poetry always has a theme. Idea is not just a topic, but an thought with an impression.
Theme:The Vietnam War
This is not a theme. It is only a subject. It really is an event. There are no concepts, opinions, or perhaps statements about life or perhaps of intelligence contained in this kind of sentence
Theme:History shows that inspite of our statements to be peace-loving, unfortunately every person secretly desires for gaining wonder through turmoil.
This is certainly a theme. It is not just an event, but an argument about a meeting. It reveals what the poetthinksabout the event. The poet aims to show the reader his/her theme during the whole poem, using literary methods.
Tip #4 Employ Images.
BE A PAINTER IN WORDS, says UWEC English mentor emerita, poet, and songwriter Peg Lauber. She says poems should stimulate six feelings:
- Sunlight varnishes magnolia branches crimson (sight)
- Vacuum cleaner’s whir and hum startles my ferret (hearing)
- Penguins timber to their nests (kinesiology)
Lauber advises her students to create fresh, striking images (imaginative). Be a camera.Make the readerbegenerally therewith the poet/speaker/narrator. (See as well: Show, Don’t (Just) Tell)
Idea #10 Modify, Revise, Change.
The first accomplished draft of the poem is merely the beginning. Poets often proceed through several drafts of a poem before with the work done.
- Put your poem away for a few times, and then return to it. As you re-read it, does nearly anything seem puzzling? Hard to adhere to? Do you discover anything that requirements improvement that you just overlooked the first time? Often , if you are in the act of publishing, you may rule out important information because you are so familiar with the topic. Re-reading a poem helps you to notice it from the outsider’s perspective of the reader.
- Show your poem to others and inquire for criticism. Don’t end up being content with a reply like, That’s a nice poem. You won’t master anything as a result kind of response. Instead, locate people who think specific things you need to improve in your composition.
26 May well 2000 originally published by Kara Ziehl, since an task for Prof. Jerz’s technical writing category 01 Aug 2000 modified and posted by simply Jerz 30 Nov 2001 slight edits by Jerz 21 July 2011 slight refresh twenty-two May 2013 added intro before the tips. twenty four Dec 2017 minor formatting changes 09 Interest 2019 corrected a 1000-year problem caused by a typo in the above line
Change Abstract Words Into Concrete Phrases
To stop problems due to using fuzy words, use concrete words and phrases.
Case in point:She believed happy.
This series uses this word happy. To enhance this collection, change the summary word to a concrete graphic. One way to achieve this is to think of an object or a scene that evokes thoughts of happiness to represent the happy sense.
Improvement:Her smile spread like red shade on ripening tomatoes.
This series uses two concrete images: a smile and a ripening tomato. Explaining the smile shows you something about happiness, rather than basically coming correct out and naming the emotion. As well, the symbolism of the tomato further reinforces the completely happy feelings. Reddish is frequently associated with love; ripening is a confident natrual process; food can be further associated with being pleased.
|Prof. Jerz belabors Kara’s point:|
Expansion: Right now, let’s do something with this kind of image.
ALRIGHT, the image has gotten embarrassingly obvious right now, but you can see how the introduction of the tomato lets us to generate many further connections. Although Kara’s first example just reported a static emotional state She experienced happy, the image with the ripening tomato, which Kara introduced like a simple simile to describe an endearing smile, has grown in something much more complex. Regardless of what the word tomato invoked inyourbrain, an indifference like happy can never stretch itself out to become a whole poem, devoid of relying on concrete images. –DGJ