Literature Notes #004

My notes as a reader on:

Schumann(ed.) – „Grundlagen und Techniken der Schreibkunst“ – chapter on poetry

I am by far not done digesting, practising and reading up more on the previous chapters of this fantastic book. Yet I must keep reading, as the act of getting to know the craft of writing alone has opened so many new doors for me already.

I was a bit hesitant about the chapter on poetry. It seems so alien to anything that’s in my typical media diet. I have read and admired poetry before, school made me and in latest years I just came to appreciate the beauty of it just for itself, but that was it. Enjoying it from a distance. When I read about how to make, not just analyze, poetry from Schumann’s perspective today, the result was different than anything I had expected. Everything laid out reminded me of a programming language. Everything makes sense, but you will need some time and quite some practise to really memorize and understand the language ruleset you are given and the effects it will cause. I did not expect language to have such a mathematical level. Your recipient is a human being, not a machine, so you have more room for willful ambiguity and vagueness. But if you want to go to the extreme, you can break language down to the very noises you make and what you can say within a breath, utilizing language to it’s fullest like probably no other form of literature can.

I can see why it is absolutely worth it practising poetry, even if you have no aspirations to ever become a poet. I want to get to know both German and English that intimate, and possibly other languages later if I get to get to know them to a sensible level. We are using language every day utilizing only a fraction of what language can do. Imagine all the fun to be had just by knowing more about it!