7. On Poetics and Discourse
A poem isn’t just language.
A poem uses language in a certain way but poetry is much more
than language per se. Poetry has an aesthetic element,
a shape like sculpture. And poetry is a form of communication;
it has something to say. Poetry is a way of speaking, whether
it is the poet talking to their inner self in the solitude of
the creative process, or to an audience of readers or listeners.
Poetry also conveys knowledge. Poetry is one of the fundamental
and ancient means through which we, as humans, share knowledge
on a universal level. Poetry is visionary. It is through poetry
that the collective or the cosmic becomes individualized.
Language isn’t the sum total
of poetry, just as sex isn’t the sum total of love.
I draw from several sources in
my poetry: the natural world; the sensual and erotic; the mythological;
the spiritual; and the everyday, via personal experience.
The poem makes meaning of an event
that the event doesn’t always make. The poet’s personal
life isn’t the essence in poetry—what matters is how
the imagination uses personal experience.
Art takes an individual’s
life and distils it, gives it order and shape. That’s why
throughout human history, we have made art—to give order
to the randomness and chaos of our lives. Art reconciles the chaos
of experience with the inner balance and harmony that we need
to connect to the cosmos and to the universal. Poetry is an integral
activity in the history of being human.
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Copyright by Carolyn Zonailo: www.carolynzonailo.com,