Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dave Smith's "Near The Docks"

Dave Smith is featured over at one of my favorite blogs How A Poem Happens this week. I have been a long-time admirer of Dave Smith’s poetry, having collected everything he has ever written, and he has been a tremendous influence on my own poetry in recent years. I think he is a bona-fide genius when it comes to metaphor but listen to what he has to say about the importance of narrative in his poetry:

"All poems are narratives. Some more, some less. If that is controversial, I add this: the older I have come to be the more I understand that the quality of any poem lies almost entirely in the quality of its story, how compelling, how weighty, how memorable. The best poets tell the best stories. Simply that."

If you haven’t read any of Dave Smith’s poetry, I recommend getting The Wick of Memory as a sampler but my favorite collection by far is Smith’s Goshawk, Antelope which has been a touchstone for my latest poetry collection Winter Cranes which will be published by ECW press in the Fall of 2011.