Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ginsberg take two

In the videotaped interview, Allen Ginsberg seems to imply that he must see the entire picture (or form) of the poem first, before he begins to write it. In fact, there can be no poem without this initial form or picture. This reminds me of an Ultimate-frisbee lesson I was taught a long time ago: if you can visualize yourself making the play, then it is a play you can make. In this way, more creative players gain advantage over others although we don't necessarily consider visualizing the play as a sign of imagination or creativity.

Ginsberg's thought raises questions in other areas--if you can picture the film in your head, is it a script that you could write? When he dismisses stray ideas as mere worries, is he dismissing all of us who think we have "a great idea for a film"? Also, can Ginsberg's picture be applied to a life? A career or a love affair? Do bakers have an exact mental image of the cake before they begin to bake?

Take a deep breath. Follow Ginsberg's advice and meditate for a moment. What picture can you imagine? What form takes shape?

And so we begin again.

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