Sideshow: So What About the Epigraph?
Dave Bonta, Big Tent Poetry Sideshow Barker
Dave weighs in on a very recent essay by David Orr in a New York Times Sunday Book Review on the epigraph. Orr posits the epigraph is used to place the poet within a specific canon of work, and Dave thinks it has a place in modern poetry meant for a general readership. Read them both and see what you think. (Dave links to the Orr piece.)
… I’ve always thought that my most valuable attribute as (ahem!) a thinker is my ability to point out the obvious, so here goes: epigraphs are a convenient shortcut to alterity, a way of letting other voices in. They are sometimes integral to the original inspiration, and at other times simply a by-product of writerly enthusiasm, but in either case, they situate the poem not merely in a tradition but also within a kind of network of shared wonder at similar phenomena, ideas, or linguistic perversities.
Click on the excerpt to read the entire article. Check our About page for a list of other Sideshow Barkers, friends of Big Tent Poetry who are generous enough to share with us their columns, interviews and reviews. There is no set schedule for these appearances; willy-nilly is a symptom of creative genius!
There is no set schedule for these appearances; willy-nilly is a symptom of creative genius!
I couldn’t agree more with this statement!LOL. I’m definitely a willy-nilly kind of a person, but I balk at the genius bit!