Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Verse: Getting back on the Literary boat

I may ramble a little bit in this post, and it will be a little more personal than the kinds of things I usually write.

I used to be a poet a few years ago. It was a habit that I had broken a couple years ago, and now I am trying to reengage myself to the art form. I made a pact with one of my old blogging friends and hopefully that will get me back in fighting shape, as the cliche goes.

Of course, there are some of you out there that may be thinking that writing is not a habit--a disease maybe and definitely an occupation(if not a preoccupation), but a habit... no.

I remember back when I was in one of my creative writing courses in University and I realized that I was actually adept at writing verse. My reaction was literally, "But I don't want to be a poet," like Jerry Seinfeld did many times on his show(with other words being substituted for poet of course).

Words used to come so easily for me back then. I could sit down and just write poetry for hours or spontaneously generate verse orally and it would all come streaming out of me in so many forms, and perfect words just popped up, sometimes even before I knew what they were(like effulgent), but now I can't do that anymore. I used to write deftly and with subtle nuances, and now when I blog, I notice the clumsiness of my words and how often things don't come out the way I intended. It is a different kind of writing, but the small touches that I used to excel at are no longer there.

In short, my poetic muscles have gotten flabby for lack of use in both their creative and critical senses. I still know the words, the forms I haven't had a good workshop session in a few years, and there is nothing like it really.

I mean, I don't fear the rejection of my work. At all.

And as anyone who has taken a creative writing course with a workshop element knows, you may make a few friends while you are in the battling in the pit so to speak, but on some level, you hate most of your fellow writers, and while you would never openly acknowledge that publicly in the group, it does enter into the critiquing of the work. I still look back in fondness to a moment where I just took a fellow poet out at the knees when they claimed they had written a poem about a particular subject... a subject which I happened to have just finished extensive research on... and he deserved it! If you can survive the scrum of an angry group, well, then you can survive almost anything anyone will ever say about your work, because in a group, it is personal. They have to look you in the eye and say those things, and because you all basically hate each other, well, no one is too shy to tell you how bad something really is. That is the beauty of the workshop experience.

So I know I have a long journey ahead of me... and a lot of work to do to get back into the wide open waters of literature. But I know I can do it. My odyssey to find my Ithaca once more must prevail....

Yeah, I need a lot more practice.


DutchBitch said...

Well Hon, all I can say is "Good For You" and "I am SURE you can do it!"

Will you keep us posted?

MC said...

I'll try ;)