Composing Poetry

“… composing poetry is a very peculiar process. It is indeed a process of cognition. … When you rhyme two things which have not been paired before, a certain relationship develops between them. Suppose the line ends with the word “moon”. So you start to shop in the language for a rhyme, or a correspondence, and sooner or later you come up with the word “spoon”. And initially you think it won’t do, because there is apparently no connection between the moon and the spoon. But when you begin to think. And you think: isn’t there? Perhaps there is. First both are inanimate; both have that metallic shine. Etc., etc. And you connect them. And that connection accelerates tremendously. And it helps you to understand something about the nature of things, the nature of the moon, and the nature of the spoon. And perhaps the nature of the relationship of two things.”

Joseph Brodsky

‘The Power of Poetry’: The two Nobel Prize winners Joseph Brodsky (1987) and Derek Walcott (1992) met at the Gothenburg Book Fair on 9 September 1993, Library of Congress, Sound Division.

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