The ideas behind the various groupings of poems come from vastly different periods of poetic enquiry, beginning with The Images which included @ one time or another Gestus; Metempsychosis; Rasa; Aleph; which as Poems were born out of my quest to modernise the epic in the same way as Pound had attempted with the Cantos. The inherent philosophy behind the styles of these poems was born from the notion arrived @ in 2005 that it was possible to turn the epic inside out & merge various boundaries, ask questions about the concept of a collection of poems as a whole cohesive work, could a new form of epic poem be both a collection of poems & also an epic poem in its own right, existing as distinctly both, a polysemy. It almost becomes then a conceptual foot, & a multi-dimensional word. For example 'I let my red dress love language more than you', placed here out of the context in which it sits within the stanzas of the poem it is reused & repeated in, appears to have a very specific meaning, but that phrase can be seen from many perspectives even whilst it is alone without other phrases with it. Thus does it truly become a concept rather than just a phrase, because of all of the symbolic meanings that can be understood from it, expressed with it from the perspective of those reading it, using it. It becomes more than just a singular sentence expressing a particular & explicit meaning. Especially as the experience of the reader also defines its meaning on top of any meaning imbued within it from the author, thus a poem & a poetry collection are inherently the co-creation of both the reader & the writer, & a thousand people could read them & understand entirely different things from them, thus does the experience of each reader make the collection or singular poem have specific & different meanings to each reader alone, the author being just the vehicle to arrive @ the myriad of conclusions by providing the readers with writing whose purpose is to be finished each time differently by each reader's mind, becoming ultimately a personal experience forever refreshed by changes in each reader's experience. Hinterlands, the group of selected poems which ends 'The Rhapsodies' is less preoccupied with these earlier concerns & was born out of a period of having moved again from one country to another. The poems in Hinterlands were written with concerns of always being between two places, between birth & death, between this world & the next, between the sea & the land, between the river & the city, between the forest & the field. Between the living & the dead, between the real & the surreal. (Although these thematic preoccupations exist strongly in the earlier poems, they are more apparent in the latter almost apocalyptic & mythological poems of Hinterlands.) Despite that The Rhapsodies has a non-linear narrative cohesion, & can be seen as a whole rather than a disparate selection of poems, as the production of 'wholes' is a preoccupation of mine as a poet, I have often said I work in collections not singular poems & each poem before & after another in a collection informs the whole since each poem is a concept & thus when seen in the light of the poems that surround it allows a deeper reading & understanding to be made of it, no poem is an island, & it is still my intention to blur those distinctions between a poetry collection & a singular work so that every collection I write can be viewed as both. Thank you for reading. Sincerely Nicolas Guy Williams B.A Hons. (ngw).
The Rhapsodies: Selected Poems 1993 - 2017
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