Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The written word

I checked out a book of poetry at the library last week.  

There’s something about poetry that makes me want to be a better writer, a better thinker.  I’ve always loved it, for as long as I can remember.  But I’ve never felt like I can appreciate it like I’m supposed to, like my teachers and professors have insisted on.

My brain does not wrap itself around the hidden meanings as well as other people.  And I don’t feel like I have the time to delve into each line slowly, like dipping toes into an icy creek.

But I love the way it flows and how every word and syllable can be agonized over, how a small scene can gain power with just a few ideas and time.

I hold no illusions of my own grandeur.  I know that I am not a poet and at this point I am not a serious writer, if for nothing more than my incessant use of fragments, run-on sentences and random parentheses. I know that there are many, many other bloggers (writers) who are much more talented than I am and who have a much larger following than I do.  I don't take the time I should and usually slap words on the page in the hour I have to myself during naptime.  

But I like to feel like I’m part of something cool.  I started this blog as a way to connect with people.   I was feeling a bit lonely being at home all the time with the kids, and I felt maybe I could become more involved this way.  I know you’re not supposed to start a blog to make money, and I didn’t, not really.  But I’d be lying if I said I didn't hope, in the very depths of my hidden wishes, that something would happen.

But it hasn't. And realistically it probably won't.

Maybe I’m just discouraged.  I see so many sponsored posts lately, and it just seems sad, like a constant stream of commercials.  I don’t begrudge those writers that.  It’s their choice and I would most definitely do the same if I was offered that type of opportunity.  And that’s where my discouragement comes from.  I am not paid for anything I write, and I don’t know how to get to that point.  I am obviously not very talented at selling myself.
And so when I saw this poetry book, it woke something up in me, an urge that I haven’t felt for a long time.  I passed by it first, then went back and picked it up.  Then passed it up again and went back again, finally picking it up to take home with me.

The squalor of mind
is formlessness,
the Romans said of ugliness,
it has no form,
a man’s misery, bleached skies,

the war between desire
and dailiness.
                    Songs To Survive The Summer
                                         Robert Hass


  1. have tried some of Wendell Berry's poems? There is one called Sayings and Doings by him at the library and it is my FAVORITE. I think you might like it!

  2. @JessicaI've never read any of his. I did look at some of his books at the library but decided against them since I had so many already! I tend to over-check out books and then not read most of them. I like to have a selection!

  3. I am OBSESSED with him. He does a WONDERFUL poetry reading! I have all of his fiction novels if you ever want to give them a try. wonderful reading!


Thanks for commenting!