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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Practising Poetry : Thinking Form, Emulation and Formal Invention
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'This paper argues that poetry—as an example of a contemporary art practice—involves inventiveness at several registers deserving of articulation. Whereas established forms of practice stipulate in advance, to a certain degree, the form of the behaviour to be repeated as practice (the kata of martial arts, the words and rhythms of prayer, the technical gestures of archery), post-Enlightenment artistic practices can differ from and extend this aspect of practice, in one important respect. If practice generally is that peculiar constellation of ‘doing’ that invites the radically new and courts innovation, then in the case of art the practice is doubly engaged with invention, since—after an apprenticeship—it welcomes innovation at the level of its own form. This paper will unpack this claim, with the aim of clarifying for practitioners of any art form, but especially poetry, the two registers at which they can note the appearance and role of newness and the difficulties faced in practising. It then takes up the example of emulation, casting anew its place in an emerging poetic or artistic practice. Emulation can be understood simply as a way practitioners lean on the behavioural forms and examples set by their predecessors or peers, in moments when they are strengthening practising itself. A practice, then, is likely to involve both of these modes: practising within existing, fertile behavioural forms (such as emulation), and phases of more farreaching invention of the forms of that artistic practice itself. These indeed are entangled, however, a precision regarding practice’s mechanisms, as well as an acknowledgement of emulation’s contribution, it will be argued, can assist makers, but particularly poets, to identity at what register their making might be hindered. Is it that they actually lack a basic set of behaviours via which to pursue their work, or are they facing the inherent difficulty of art, which welcomes the invention of new forms? By acknowledging that art is doubly difficult as practice, due to its involving both a mustering of the stamina to practice and also invention at the level of form, the poet-artist can work with both greater deftness and patience.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Website Series Making It New: Finding Contemporary Meanings for Creativity no. 40 Michael Biggs (editor), Kevin Brophy (editor), Monica Carroll (editor), Paul Magee (editor), Jen Webb (editor), 2017 11181505 2017 periodical issue

    'Creativity is one of the important catchwords of the early 21st century. It is invoked by government, industry, and the academy, positioned as the motive force for economic and technological innovation, and widely claimed in the literature of business and organisational management as an explicatory concept and a key ingredient for success. It can be surprising to artists in all the many forms and modes of practice that a word we had long seen as ‘ours’ has so thoroughly and promiscuously slipped from our grasp. However, there is knowledge in all those other disciplines and domains that is potentially of value to creative writers, performing artists and plastic artists, as well as all our cousins in allied art forms.' (Monica Carroll and Jen Webb Introduction)

Last amended 12 May 2017 11:26:54 Practising Poetry : Thinking Form, Emulation and Formal Inventionsmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series