Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Guest Blog: Morgan Kenney

Time for another dose of clever folks talking about poetry.

Today it's the turn of my good friend, Morgan Kenney.

I met Morgan about 15 years ago at a writers' conference. I had written about 6 poems and half a dozen chapters of a novel. He had the good grace to listen to my witterings, uninterrupted for what must have felt like hours.

Later on I learned he had forgotten more about poetry than I will ever know.

But something in me sparked the teacher in him and he became a huge influence in the burgeoning of any talent I possess. Before I met Morgan I enjoyed words. Over the years he has taught me to love and appreciate language.

I asked him if he would guest on this here blog. His task - to talk about what poetry meant to him. This is what he had to say ...

Language liberated humanity from the cave. Poetry liberated language from basic meaning, led us to explore inner space, enabled us to express intangible experience and feelings.

Poets are tuned to the magic of spoken sound, to the creative possibility of the combination of words into surprising and revealing images, to potential rhythm.

Poetry is jewel-words, multi-faceted, casting multi-coloured light on experience.

Poetry is elastic words, stretching into unsuspected areas of meaning; suggesting there is more than seems to be there; tempting daring interpretation.

Poetry is stimulating words that force us to reconsider set-pattern reactions, to allow new revelations to wash over our accepted reality, leaving us with new insights and a sharpened vision.

Poetry is sound … a song of life … a magical combination of sound into lush melody … words that sing with the crystal beauty of sparkling vowels, the soul of music …a combination of sharp vowels and long, soothing vowels … sounds positioned carefully so that they blend harmoniously or contrast dramatically.

Poetry is rhythm … words ordered artfully to produce a flow of rhythm that is relevant to the meaning.

Poetry is pattern … pattern in sound … pattern in shape … pattern in order of words … fresh pattern in the combination and mixture of words.

Poetry is influence … an attempt to describe and explain the individuality of the senses and thought … an attempt to kick-start the imagination of others … to heighten the sensitivity of others’ perception … to make a haunting impact of suggestion, a fugitive impression that defies analysis, description …  to produce moments of bright satisfaction.

Poetry cannot correct the problems of the world, but it can suggest there is a truth that lies beyond our individual realities; a truth that encompasses a greater universe than the one limited by our senses; a multi-levelled truth to be investigated, enjoyed and treasured.



  1. How lovely. Even his prose is poetic and so true.I love what he said about poetry liberating language from simple meaning...

    I'm sure you were not a trial to mentor, Michael.

  2. That was the most poetically beautiful guest post I've read. I'll need to copy it to refer to again and again. Love the 'poetry is a song of life'

    Michael - such an influence obviously worked!

  3. What an outstandingly beautiful description and definition of poetry. Thank you Morgan. I'm going to steal Rosemary's idea and copy your posting so I can paste it in my diary. I want to remind myself of it everyday because it's put into words why poetry is so important to me. It is indeed a 'song of life'. Thank you again. Sheila xxxx

  4. martie, of course you are right :)

    Rosemary, ta!

    Anonymous Sheila, well said.