On artificiality and authenticity.


Get this. Brecht says, ‘It is not easy to learn from folk songs. Modern pseudo-folk songs offer many discouraging examples, to start with because of their artificial simplicity. Where the folk song uses simple means to say something complicated, its modern imitators are saying something simple (or simple minded) in a simple way.’

There’s the difference. If any of us think of writing in the clear style of Simic or Ryan, we had best be pretty sure we have something to say.

I just received a copy of Hans Christian Anderson stories, in a decent translation. Just the intro is exciting enough, all about the chronic outsider status of the young Hans. His misery. It makes me so happy. The authenticity.


And his crazy paper-cuttings that are used for illustrations. And how he would do this all over Europe, when he visited Dickens and the like.


On the manuscript.

More on the job in hand. Bertie writes this as well, ‘…every poem is the enemy of every other poem [it]demands to be published on its own. At the same time they need one another, derive strength from one another, and can consequently be grouped.’

I’m giving the ordering over as a job for my subconscious, hoping that the longer I sit and play with my daughters and read fairy tales, the better the swift ordering will be, when I get round to it. I feel I’m almost at that most anal of phases with this, where I can flick through the 52 poems and enjoy the feel of the paper, the amount of words!, the shape of them as seen from across the room. regardless of what each poem is doing!



About grahamcliffordpoet

Graham is an award winning poet, based in London. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Creative Writing, and has since published nationally and internationally, winning many awards and performing at some of the most prestigious and well known Literary Festivals. His debut collection, The Hitting Game, is published by Seren.
This entry was posted in Charles Simic, creative writing, Germany, Hans Christian Anderson, poetry, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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