Intimate Poetry Your name

Intimate Poetry Your name






Intimatepoetry is not about being confessional, but it is about beingdetailed in a manner that brings the subject matter closely to theaudience or reader. It offers intimate details in the work of art. Itis intimate but not necessarily in ways of expressing or revealingout secrets or private issues, but rather in the way it brings outthe readers experiences (Van Maanen, 2011). Additionally, like inRobert Lowell’s (1978), “TheQuaker Graveyard in Nantucket,”it seeks what is alive and telling in the entire work. This is notonly for the reader, but for the poet as well. Thus, the poet enjoyswhat he is doing, and his quest gains meaning and has life. Lowellfurther initiated most of the confessional poetry, in which sheexpressed and bared most of her past person experiences with immenseintensity and honesty. Undeniably her influential poetry paved wayfor many young writers.

Inher investigative and documentary-like book,One Big Self, C.D. Wright (2003) embraces intimate poetry, which allows her to moveinto territories hitherto unexplored or hidden in our writing. Itallows us to write without previously thinking what to say. Anotherwork that will be discussed in this paper together with OneBig Self, andwhich employs intimate technique is C. K. Williams’ (2013) WritersWriting Dying. Intimatepoetry enables the poets to create a provision for intimate and closeway of expressing details in the work, in order to involve the soul,even as the artist opens up territory for the readers, and for theartists themselves. Lowell, Williams, and Wright continuallyaccepted the challenge of getting some knowledge and information fromthe rival tradition in America hence, they drastically changed theirwriting using speed, atmosphere, and quick changes of tones.

II.OneBig Self

C.D. Wright’s OneBig Selfcommence by introducing his work that is well written in proseformat, titled “Stripe for Stripe,” which echoes both theAmerican flag and the traditional prison garb. The work isapproximately five pages long and plays various roles. These rolesinclude preparing readers and audience for what will follow as wellas helping individuals wrench out their hearts. The rapport withphotographer-Deborah Luster- is well hinted at the intimate oflanguage used “the soft-spoken cadence of Louisiana speech”signals such type of work has some cultural cast as well as somepresence of narrative that is roughly expressed with regard to thefieldwork. This, in turn, brings a level of originality that is notcommon in most poems from America. Essentially, this project takes adocumentary approach. The reader feels that there’s a hard factunderlying each line. In connection to this, Wright has discovered anew usage for poetic work. The need for accommodating poetry to thisspecific method is justified nearly like an apologias the poetanatomizes the poem’s narrator. To me, the introduction is the mostintimate section of this book. Still, the five pages serve to preparethe reader for the explicit nature of the narrator in the ensuingparts.

Thepoet’s method of reassigning the narration opinions in a subtlymanner is combined with the revelation: “Try to remember it the wayit was. Try to remember what I wore when I visited the prisons.Trying to remember how tall my boy was then. What books I wasteaching. Trying to remember how I hoped to add one true and lonelyword to the host of texts that bear upon incarceration….Somethingabout the extra-realism of that peculiar institution caused me tobalk, also the resistance of poetry to the conventions of evidentiarywriting.”

Nearlyevery line in this book can stand by itself at the center of a blankpage and still communicate something to us. Aphoristic, telescopic,down-to-earth, numinous, these are only a few qualities which explainand discuss the expression of the courageous narrator, which slowlyappear as the poem develops.

Somesentences appear to echo or generalize some other emotions, like“Hopelessness against hopelessness” in page 79, pays homage toyet another prison narrative, HopeAgainst Hopeby Nadezhda Mandelstam (Van 2011, p.79). Marking of time, the actualessence of reappearing in a similar form, is depicted plainly and aninformal manner from the poem’s first page. This foreshadows thefact that the book mixes the narrator’s voice with truth about hissubjects.

Hereis part of the poem:

“ Countyour fingersCounty your toesCount your nose holesCountyour blessings…”

III.WritersWriting Dying

AlthoughC. K. Williams has had many accomplishments that include a NationalBook Award and a Pulitzer Award, he starts his WritersWriting Dyingbook in a humble manner, declaring in “Whacked” that “one neveris, really, a poet. Or I’m not.” However, most parts this bookdoes not concur with his prior quote or expression.

Thereis plenty piece of evidence of C. K. William’s utilization of thefamed long line. While such lines are usually written in a bid tobreathlessly evoke the prophetic or ecstatic tone, like in many poemswritten by Allen Ginsberg, Williams C. K has changed the long line toan astonishingly flexible poetic tool. Often, he uses it to express apoint of view that is worked and organized out while paying closeattention and observation to time, for example in “Mask” hewrites: “Didn’t Yeats have his file of fake Willies? HisAnti-Self, his Cuchulain, his Michael Robartes? / Why couldn’t Ithen? Why was I stranded like the insole of a shoe in this face gluedon so tightly?”

Insome other instances, Williams make use of the long line to showfirmness, like the persistence expresses in the sexual craving in“Bianca Burning,” where he writes: “The sexual terror lions areroaring into my ears as I make my way between their cages / at theBertram Mills Circus in England in nineteen fifty-seven when I’mtwenty.” There’s also a suggestion of perseverance of literarycommitment in “Prose,” where he says: “So maybe the novelistsdo save me, maybe Lawrence and Mann, Dickens and Melville and Greene,/ even the landslides of Thomas Wolfe that go through me like castoroil release me from myself.” For the two instances, the length ofthe line is not just a tic with a certain style, but also anessential tool in many in various poems written by William.

Williamsis able to match the line’s length and life’s length even as hewrites humorously and poignantly various topics like aging, forinstance in the boldly heartrending “Salt” poem in which heconfesses that he finds it, “Abashingly eerie that just because I’mhere on the long low-tide beach of age with briny time / lickinginsidious eddies over my toes there’d rise in me those mad weeks alifetime ago.” Most poems in WritersWriting Dyingbring to mind Shakespeare’s “sessions of sweet, silent thought,”as memory that are vivid are juxtaposed with indignities that arecaused old age.

Assuch, the writing’ demonstrates the move towards death instead ofdeath itself it rather shows a record of a writer’s or poet’sprogression through life. As the writer is writing on the way todying, he is making a record the life that he passed through. Justlike Shakespeare’s sonnets, Williams believe and imagines in sexualreproduction metaphors and symbols: “if I could lie down like amare giving birth, arm in my own uterine channel to tug out another,/ one more, only one more, poor damp little poem, then I’ll behappy—I promise, I swear.”

Mostparts of Williams’ book incorporate various commentaries on writingand death whereas part of it comprises of information that isexpressed in a poetic manner. Williams was highly motivated and movedby others’ writing. Like Wright, Williams appreciates the works ofothers. The collection’s first poem, “Whacked,” is about greatand outstanding poetry, this make a reader to keep reading more andmore. It is expresses below:

“Everymorning of my life I sit at my desk getting whacked by

somegreat poet or other.

SomeYeats, some Auden, some Herbert or Larkin, and lately

awhole batch of others—

oi!—youngerthan me. Whack!Wiped out, every day . . . I mean

sincebecoming a poet.

Imean wanting to—one never is, really, a poet. Or I’m not. Not

whenI’m trying to write . . .”

Thevoice of William is contemporary, skeptical, jaundiced, and jaded.He is unique from other individuals, but he does not despise others.Occasionally, his ecstatic outbursts can be fascinating: “Let us becrazy together! Don’t leave me scrambling up those stanzas ofinaccessible bliss!” Unlike Wright however, he does not strive todeliver unforgettable lines. Williams’ poem work in large akimbolanguage slabs. It may be termed as prose, but it isn’t proseexactly, even though he is clearly affectionate for it: “So maybethe novelists do save me, maybe Lawrence and Mann, Dickens andMelville and Greene, / even the landslides of Thomas Wolfe that gothrough me like castor oil release me from myself.” Williamshilariously confronts the ever sensitive subject matter of death.Writing gives us an escape route from self-consciousness, andWilliams knows this when he is writing WritersWriting Dying.Essentially, this book death. “Keep dying!” Williams exclaims inhis title poem. “Keep writing it down.”


Intimatedetails in intimate poetry do not arrive at conclusions prior toexpressing the actual fact: they create provision for food , helpingpeople to see, smell, know, taste, hear, as well feel and expressemotions. The art of writing intimate poetry is similar to being aportraits’ painter. A painter plays a key role in noticing waysthrough which light shin, rosy complexion hair’s waves the way thelight brings the sheen in the brow into life, waves of hair, rosycomplexion, and the way the eyes look straight ahead among others. C.D. Wright’s OneBig Selfand C. K. Williams’ WritersWriting Dyingare intimate works because they bring the subject close.


Lowell,R, 1978, TheQuaker Graveyard in Nantucket,Harvard University, Houghton Library.

VanMaanen, J, 2011, Talesof the field: On writing ethnography,University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Wright,C. D, 2003, OneBig Self: Prisoners of Louisiana.Twin palms Publ, New York.

Williams,C. K, 2013, WritersWriting Dying, BloodaxeBooks LTD, London.