On writing and reading sequences

In previous posts, I have been thinking about series and sequences and how they differ.  I have said that while “both the series and the sequence involve a journey, the series is even more journey oriented: the journey must be completed.”  In the case of the sequence, the reader need not complete reading the whole to appreciate each piece.  The reader can “stop the journey” (or only take one leg of it) and focus on a specific poem without losing something major in understanding the poem.

That said, because the poems form a sequence, they should also offer some value cumulatively.  The poems before a poem should be able to contribute in hindsight, but each poem should not be hindsight dependent as the series is.

In the sequence, there is balance between collective identity and individual identity for the poems.  A reader should be just as stimulated by one poem as the reader would feel stimulation by the full sequence.  I realize this may sound problematic: is stimulation not cumulative, not quantitative in some way?  It seems that stimulation would indeed be additive, but perhaps only up to a certain point (after all, “white noise” exists, consisting of many stimuli that become indistinguishable and thus no longer additive relative to the hearer).  Perhaps similarly, a potent poem in a sequence can seem just as stimulating as the whole of the sequence it is a part of.

While a series involves an “enduring ambition,” the sequence involves a potency ambition.  Each poem must be a potent entity, as it needs to seem just as stimulating as the sequence itself.  Given these pressures, each poem in a sequence requires the poet’s “big picture” awareness just as much as a series does.

If you wish to see previous posts on this or related subject matter, please see Word Choices: “Series” vs “Sequence” and On writing and reading series.

Do you agree with my notion of stimuli and how it relates to the sequence?

Do you enjoy reading sequences?  Writing sequences?