Poetry Reflection

I’m still conflicted about poetry—not quite ready to seal my judgment on it yet, which is good since I”m signed up for a poetry class next semester, but still… I never really felt I was able to get into poetry, I was always writing around it, trying to get at things I couldn’t really feel. Most of my day-to-day problems with poetry were similar to those I faced in the other units, but they seemed all the more acute during this unit. I wasn’t really ever able to enjoy writing any of the poems (hm… nope), even if I was satisfied with some of the results, which wasn’t often. Barbara says over and over again that you need to write crappy poems to get good ones, but it sucks when you feel you turn out nothing but crap, and don’t enjoy turning it out in the first place. Anyone can write a decent poem if they spend enough time just writing and writing… isn’t a better success rate what makes a writer a writer? These are all just thoughts, not convictions really, and that’s why I’m not ready to write off poetry just yet (pun intended).

As far as poetry as a medium is concerned, it holds a great deal of promise for me theoretically, as I am very much a “poet” in the sense that I enjoy tinkering with individual words, and am fascinated by the intricacies of writing. I like to read slowly, taking in each word and seeing how it fits with those around it. I remember reading Light in August (Faulkner) in my senior year English class and just loving it— it was poetry masquerading as a novel!!! Beyond that though, I have trouble getting into the form as it is physically–when you isolate things so much it draws that much more attention to them, which increases the pressure to get things “right”— which is my biggest neurosis as a writer.

And I have always enjoyed reading poetry, this unit only furthering that love—seeing other writers getting something “right” is such a thrill, the most basic enjoyment I can get from writing… Identifying.

I have hope that with time and work and effort I’ll be able to bust through this carapace of stuff that is keeping me from writing to my “potential”, and this semester wasn’t exactly a pleasant one in other ways, which only made it that much harder to get into the writing. If only I could take this class again, I’d be much less apprehensive—its just that I can’t imagine this environment being recreated in any other class (another point, but still relevant). So yeah, I still like writing, and I like poetry, though I don’t really see myself as a poet (though I might be, I can’t quite go there yet). So hopefully this rambling reflection makes some semblance of sense.