small group work on Ian Hamilton Finlay

A fellow poet has written of Finlay’s works on paper the following: “The point is to give the reader a shock not of recognition but of cognition, which is much harder and much more valuable.” With this in mind, please work with your group members to come up with a careful analysis of what your assigned poem is about and/or what’s at stake in your assigned poem. Consider what sorts of conventions of poetry Finlay is trying to disrupt and consider how he is trying to expand our sense of what poetry is or what poetry could be.

GROUP 1: Wave/rock (check out some different iterations of the poem using Google images)

GROUP 2: Fisherman’s cross

GROUP 3: A Patch for a RipTide: Sail

GROUP 4: Sales/Waves

GROUP 5: Star/Steer

GROUP 6: You/Me/Us (and also this version)

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