Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Just so People Will Know...

...Yes Virginia, there is speculative poetry. As wikipedia states,
Speculative poetry is not defined by form, unlike most sub-categories of poetry. speculative poets work in the full variety of forms available to all poets; what makes speculative poetry speculative is generally the subject matter, though some poets have approached their speculation on a language level, experimenting with possible future or alien dialects and the like.
In the US, there is a speculative poetry association (SFPA) that was formed in the '70s, a major award (Rhysling) with a number of recognizable awardees (Ursula K. Le Guin and Gene Wolfe) as well as writers (Ray Bradbury and Thomas M. Disch).

As spec fic poet Bruce Boston states,
Speculative poetry can be seen as a subset of genre poetry. Its origins can also be linked to science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Beyond that, the similarities begin to fade. Poems worthy of being called speculative may be clever, but wit is not their aim. They may be narrative, but they are not about storytelling. Nor do they deliver singular resolutions and conclusions. Speculative poetry is about suggestion; it is elusive and rich in allusions; it functions at multiple levels; it may sometimes appear opaque until you give it a deserving read. Unlike most genre poems, speculative poetry does not use language to communicate in a strictly literal way, but recognizes the analogical quality of language, the play of words, the connections and contradictions inherent in sounds and meanings. It takes words beyond themselves, beyond their literal definitions, and whether its syntax is simple or complex, rhymed and metered or free verse, it understands how to make language not only speak but sing.
But don't take my word for it (as I have neither head nor heart for poetry). Check out this poem by one of my favorite writers, Theodora Goss. Here's another one by Sonya Taaffe.

(Ironically, a lot of ramblingsoul's poems have that same texture of a spec fic story, leading me to believe that though our friend has gone on to greater days with poetry, his heart is still with spec fic. And though it could be said that his poems AREN'T spec fic, who da fuck cares? I like them just the way they are.)

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