towering crag

The best line is a towering crag.
It won't be woven into an ordinary song.
The mind can't find a match for it
but casts about, unwilling to give up.

—Lu Ji, The Act of Writing, translated by Tony Barnstone


the seamstress and the butcher

Sometimes the language is in need of a seamstress; other times a butcher is what’s called for.


poetry's one-room schoolhouse

With a degree of sentimentality, we love the sonnet because it is poetry’s one-room schoolhouse.


to bifurcate and ramify

Each line of poetry must bifurcate and ramify in the reader’s mind.


specimen poem

Alas, specimen poem, all charm lost, you are now but a pinned and labeled butterfly.


unnecessary confusions

...it is not necessary, because an epoch is confused, that its poets should share its confusions.

—Robinson Jeffers, "Poetry, Gongorism and a Thousand Years"



Utopoeia: the poem as utopia built from language; a place where the mind wants to dwell forever.