Where does originality in poetry come from?

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FromThe Consolations of Strangeness, Charles Simic’s review of Jana Prikryl’s The After Party at The New York Review of Books: 

Where does originality in poetry come from then? It comes from tinkering with some older poetic model. It comes from seeing its weaknesses along with its attractions. It comes from sober deliberation or from groping blindly in the dark. It comes from god-knows-what and only-the-devil knows. Some degree of irreverence is always involved. Kneeling before a masterpiece, as I once saw a man do before El Greco’s Christ on the Cross Adored by Two Donors in the Louvre, is not the way to go.

SIBLINGS AND HALF SIBLINGS

We sisters had the Vondörfer hair,

pink with ripples and electrodes in the right places,

wavy orange stuff environing our faces.

We were lucky with our looks—decked

in matter—like everyone on earth.

That they divorced us well before my birth

Read rest of poem at The New Yorker

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