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Tag Archives: Christina Anne Taylor

Verse Versus Poetry

I’m pausing—am in the middle of composing a 9-7-5 Terza Rima—to say a few words on verse versus poetry. Verse is very different from poetry. Verse allows me to pause and give my brain a break without ruining the structure or losing anything vital to a poem’s completion, whereas poetry, when it comes, is more desperate and immediate, requiring a notebook NOW. Poetry enters in through the right lobe of the brain, whereas verse is composed in the left lobe. So much verse reads like prose but with a fun “Mother Goose” sort of sound. So much “free verse” reads like prose as well, and most free-versers would cringe to consider that artful line breaks don’t create poetry of thoughts. Even qualities that make words fun to read and listen to (such as alliteration and assonance) don’t necessarily make poetry of words, but they can act magically on the mind and/or heart. Poetry (my own personal definition) is made of more sophisticated qualities that require either careful thought or actual inspiration (metaphor is expected; hyperbole is above and beyond, literally and figuratively, and personification can raise the dead to life through the mag-ic of i-mag-ination).

One of my favorite poems is Hugh MacDiarmid’s “Birth of a Genius Among Men.” It’s actually somewhat poorly structured, but the poetry within the structure compensates. The first three stanzas:

The night folded itself about me, like a woman’s hair.
Thousands of dispersed forces, drawn as by a magnet,
Streamed through the open windows. Millions of stars poured through.
What destiny were they seeking in us? What outlet?

The universe awoke in my body.
My breast expanded and overflowed into the night.
I was one with Scotland out there, and with all the world,
And thoughts of your beauty shone in me like starlight.

You were all female, ripe as a rose for the plucking.
I was all male and no longer resisted my need.
The earth obeyed the rhythm of our panting.
The mountains sighed with us—infinity was emptied.

POETRY!

But this is verse, this rhythmic sound,
With nothing much to say,
And here the iambs loop around,
Say nothing anyway.

I’m convinced that the difference between poetry and verse is this: poetry is delivered through inspiration, and verse is the product of mental compulsion–plain and simple–and because it’s compulsive, it’ll be manufactured to endure as lastingly as poetry, for better and for worse.

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Posted by on May 28, 2018 in Musings & Other Things

 

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Christina Anne Taylor: Publishing and Book Design Services

People generally know me under this name through Middle Island Press. My family and the local community know me also as a poet. Beyond penning my own poetry and providing publishing services for poets worldwide via Middle Island Press, I also provide independent cover design services for those poets who aren’t so much visual-spatial thinkers as they are literary musers. In other words, not all poets are visually or technically “equipped” to be designers. Fine enough. That’s where I come in.

Between two presses I’ve designed nearly a hundred book covers, always taking guidance from clients until they’re satisfied, which is usually on the first or second attempt. I’m proud of how pleased my Middle Island Press poets and “outside” clients have been with my designs, and I very much enjoy doing what I do, so it’s not “work,” per se. It’s more like fun that requires my time, so I simply charge for my time – a fraction of what most designers charge: the cost of a restaurant meal – so if you’re one of those poets who is intensely haptic or auditory and not so much visual, consider bringing your project my way and I’ll be glad to help out.

Contact me, Christina Anne Taylor, for design services at literata72@gmail.com. For full publishing services, contact me at middleislandpress@yahoo.com.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2015 in News & Reviews

 

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Book Promotion: Success Is Not Measured in Numbers

(by Christina Anne Taylor)

I just read an article about book promotion that got me thinking. It was an encouraging article overall, but I got hung up on the word “failure.” Let’s consider this:

Firstly, failure and success are relative and subjective measures, and while dreaming big draws the blueprint of possibility, dreaming big more often than not results in disappointment. If we always measure ourselves against the nearly impossible, then where is contentment? Take that dream property, for instance. We can fill in the visual details and hope that wishful thinking (perhaps “The Secret”) really does bring results, or we can spend life wanting that which the Fates have not woven into our life tapestry.

Secondly, is it about winning the race, or getting the prize? I suppose it depends on where our heads are. Materialists or people in need of money or recognition want the prize. Others are contented with simply winning their own personal “race” which is just fine at any pace. We can do extraordinary things without someone handing us a prize for it.

Thirdly, many of us feel the impulse to strive toward both quantity and quality in deeds, but we cannot always expect quantity or quality in results. Stuff happens. Life has its own zillions of agendas. An author might be doing a book-signing at one store when there is a big book sale down the street that swallows the crowd, or perhaps an author chooses a genre that isn’t popular and writes not for sales but for the love of expressive imagination. Maybe we just smile at the wrong people sometimes. There are countless external factors involved in all of life, and that includes book “success” (again, success being relative)…

Let’s try and settle more often for simply getting words in print, because “success” might come a hundred years from now when “the right person” is dusting an old library or sorting through boxes of books. Regardless, a published author’s mama is always proud.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in News & Reviews

 

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“At Home” with Middle Island Press

Green Room window view

Green Room window view



The morning’s coffee tastes of honey & cinnamon; the window is open and the birds are singing; a gentle breeze rustles a happy houseplant, ushers the outdoors in. Newly off the printer and into the sorter goes one of my projects. Shortly I’ll take a break from the table and slide over to the computer to continue layout of yet another project. I await word from a few poets who are almost ready to leap skyward, manuscripts gathered up and held securely within my promises.




Collating Chapbooks at Middle Island Press

Collating Chapbooks at Middle Island Press




Life is good and I am so fortunate to have settled into my literary niche which keeps my mind on poetry and the power of words. It’s great to be able to work from home yet be as professional as if I were sitting in an office. This “Absinthe Room” is my office of sorts, and it is the birth place of over fifty chapbooks between two presses. They began with my husband and me, then my daughter, my sister, and an area anthology which necessitated Middle Island Press, and it just keeps growing because growth is what I see. The more flowers that bloom in my meadow, the more
beautiful it will be, and more will gather
with me for coffee and the perennial scent
of spring and summer.

Charles Baudelaire by R. N. Taylor
Charles Baudelaire watches pensively from the West wall eight feet away. On the East wall near the window, George Bernard Shaw, both painted by my husband.

Much to do today.

I must return to the table and finish collating, then on to layout of another project, then back to folding and stapling. Eventually I’ll get out and enjoy some sunshine, thin the carrot bed a bit, and come back in for trimming; packaging tomorrow. Another gratified poet. Such is life and it is good!

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in News & Reviews

 

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“Some Thoughts on Poetry” by Yelena Dubrovina

It’s been my pleasure to be working on a forthcoming collection of short stories by Russian-American author and poetess Yelena Dubrovina. In our getting to know one another, she read some of my poetic verses and weaved them into an intelligent literary essay (“Some Thoughts on Poetry“) which was published in the December issue of Apollo’s Lyre. I am so very honored to see my words quoted as references to strengthen Yelena’s learned and sparkling perspective.

Thank you, Yelena, for being the warm person that you are.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in News & Reviews

 

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Protected: Poetic Prose, or Prosaic Poetry?

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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in News & Reviews

 

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