Rosmarie Waldrop

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    Rosmarie Waldrop is a contemporary poet who seeks to understand the source of art as well as to reform it. She appreciates the paradoxical desires of the writer to break free of long-practiced and redundant structure, yet she understands the human need for order and arrangement. She acknowledges the fact that there is no such thing as an uninfluenced line of poetry; whether the influence is a grammatically and culturally correct form, or an emotional or ideological belief that is shared by poets and authors. According to Waldrop, “Whether we are conscious of it or not, we always write on top of a palimpsest.” (Baker, 75). We have no choice but to be influenced by works of the past. Waldrop explains that choice of diction is based on what we know as rational syntax: we choose to use certain words because they most closely describe what we are looking to describe and because they make sense in relation to the words around them. In her experience with other literary writers, she has found that some are more preoccupied with creating a figurative device out of words than allowing the words and the silences between the words to reveal their own story. Waldrop explores the idea that the words create the poetry, not necessarily the poet. This correlates with her belief that poets should focus on form rather than content because the innermost feelings of…

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