Thursday, March 22, 2007
I've Forgotten How to Write a Poem
As many of you might have noticed (or maybe not), Kate has been the primary poster on this blog for a long time. It seems that I abandoned writing on the blog as soon as I was overcome with writers block. Although, I don't know if that's an apt term. What's happened to me, you see, is that I finished my novel. It seems very strange after working on a project for so long, such a unified project for so long, to begin anything again. I managed to avoid this anxiety by avoiding writing for several years by preparing to apply to graduate school, applying to graduate school, and then reapplying to graduate school, and intermittantly searching for publishers for my novel, which I will add is a grueling and discouraging task and which I have managed unsuccessfully to this point. In any case, though for a time I was surprised at how "ok" I was at not writing, suddenly, now, I miss it. And I miss, most of all, poetry. I was really angry at poetry for a while, the result of graduate school in creative writing, but now I truly miss it. But before I started writing the novel my poetry got pretty crappy, as if what I needed couldn't happen there. So it's been a really long time since I've written a poem I've liked. And yesterday I tried, I think whole heartedly, and it was crappy. So I realize that one writes a lot of crappy things when one is searching for the right new form for oneself. But I've been thinking how to make this process less painful, how to make it like sketching for a painter. The best idea I have is to read poems I like and then imitate them without thinking that the imitations are real work. My idea at the moment is that if I just let myself play without pressure perhaps I will remember how to write a poem again, or I will learn a new way to write a poem again. I am open to any other advice.