Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 5–13 | Cite as

Artisan or Genius: Two Views of Poetic Process

  • Helen Jaskoski


Historically there have been two ways of conceptualizing the process of writing poems: one “object-centered” and the other “process-centered.” Etymology of terms for poetry reflects these historical understandings, and the ideas can be traced through many cultures. Although interactive in the actual practice of poets, the two notions are theoretically incompatible. These two ways of thinking about poetic process determine the individual’s definition of and criteria for good poetry. Implications of these theories for the poetry therapist include necessary theoretical foundation, progress toward a definition of poetry, understanding of clients’ reactions to poems and poetry-writing, possible understanding of suicide of certain poets.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Jaskoski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of English and Comparative LiteratureCalifornia Sate UniversityFullertonUSA

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