C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_tumblr_o4q1cplvo01qgqg2oo1_400.jpg“Remember: vividness, lucidity, momentum. A poem should not resemble ‘poetry’ too closely. The first impulse on reading a true poem is almost awkward. Lines should not be anticipated nor should a line be diffuse unless it conceals a jolt. Some sort of unexampled tension, not necessarily to be resolved, is characteristic of good poems. And not merely a tension purely of language but in the objects and their emotional equivalents. if a single line is to serve as a fulcrum it must be doubly sharp, hard and lucid. The whole point about a short lyric is to make the moment durable.”

Jim Harrison, from “A Natural History of Some Poems,” Just Before Dark:

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