Some thoughts on Christian Bök’s process

Description

Some thoughts on Christian Bök’s

In our recent podcast with experimental poet Christian Bök, I spoke with a poet who has a truly scientific approach to poetry, who ‘conducts experiments through language.’ He accepts that some experiments won’t work, but is committed to seeing them through, even if they represent decades of work through complex processes. His poetry can be termed ‘process poetry’: work where the act of creating becomes part of the content.

 

In parts of his first collection Crystallography, Bök’s process lay in ‘simply writing poetry about crystals over and over again, using that as the dominant metaphor for the act of writing itself.’ Importantly, this reiteration mirrors the repeating pattern that forms a crystal. More specifically, his process in some poems was to take the instructions for the chemical formulae of precious stones as prompts for poems – this strategy was repeated in certain works in The Xenotext, Book 1. Responding, as Bök says to this structure gave a framework or scaffold for the poems. This reflects the discovery already made regarding the similarities between the way atoms are combined in a molecule with the way letters of the alphabet are combined in writing.

Period24 Jul 2019

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleSome thoughts on Christian Bök’s process
    Media name/outletPoetry in Process Understanding poetic process from inspiration to final edit
    Country/TerritoryAustralia
    Date24/07/19
    DescriptionIn our recent podcast with experimental poet Christian Bök, I spoke with a poet who has a truly scientific approach to poetry, who ‘conducts experiments through language.’ He accepts that some experiments won’t work, but is committed to seeing them through, even if they represent decades of work through complex processes. His poetry can be termed ‘process poetry’: work where the act of creating becomes part of the content.

    In parts of his first collection Crystallography, Bök’s process lay in ‘simply writing poetry about crystals over and over again, using that as the dominant metaphor for the act of writing itself.’ Importantly, this reiteration mirrors the repeating pattern that forms a crystal. More specifically, his process in some poems was to take the instructions for the chemical formulae of precious stones as prompts for poems – this strategy was repeated in certain works in The Xenotext, Book 1. Responding, as Bök says to this structure gave a framework or scaffold for the poems. This reflects the discovery already made regarding the similarities between the way atoms are combined in a molecule with the way letters of the alphabet are combined in writing.
    Producer/AuthorOwen Bullock
    PersonsOwen Bullock