Quote – Sentimentality in Poetry

Quotes / Saturday, January 27th, 2018

Even though I’ve written poetry for several years, I’ve never read up on it, nor have I studied it. But right now, I have to say, I’m fascinated with it, and it all started with the Japanese haiku.

You might have noticed I’ve written several of them already, and posted them on my blog. Since writing them, I’ve come to realise how so very off the mark I was in my understanding of what makes a haiku a haiku.

I’ve scheduled many haiku to be posted on my blog, right up until the end of Feb, and, to put it bluntly, most of them are not haiku at all(!)

But, I will keep them on my blog to show my error in understanding. They are still expressions of a moment after all, and, if anything, they show a writer’s growth (hopefully).

The book I’ve just finished reading is the fantastic Seeds from a Birch Tree by Clark Strand. The reason I’ve chosen to quote this specific paragraph is because it lit up a lightbulb in the dark room of my understanding of poetry.

“Sentimentality is self-conscious emotion. It happens when, in the midst of an emotion, we want to watch ourselves having that emotion. In such moments, the feeling turns too sweet. It becomes self-consciously precious or sadโ€”in other words, something other than it is, if only to a degree.”


Thanks for reading.

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Many blessings.



4 Replies to “Quote – Sentimentality in Poetry”

    1. Thank you. Seeds from A Birch Tree explains really well how haiku are constructed, and mentions Basho quite frequently. I’ll continue to write them, and, who knows, maybe one day a good one will come out ๐Ÿ™‚

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