Monday, February 20, 2012

The Pain of Writing Poetry

I don't like to "work" at being creative. I don't want to have to chase down creativity, or wave frantically to get its one would do in trying to flag down a bull.

I like my creativity to slowly edge into my thoughts, motion to me and let me know that it's there, waiting in the side wings for my pen to lift to paper or my fingers to lift to the keyboard.

I want my creativity to be part of me. Accessible when I want it to be. Nearby for safekeeping.

Part of the natural order of things.

But sometimes poetry doesn't work that way. It can have a mind of its own, playing stubborn, and not wanting me to access it so readily.

Today was one of those days. I wanted to write a poem, but it didn't come to me in a flash. So it became like a homework assignment: I had the topic, I had to do research, and I had to flesh out my ideas. It took time; it took effort.

Ideas and words were set down on screen, then the backspace and delete keys were hit time and time again. Type. Enter. Type. Enter. Type. Delete. Delete. Delete. Change font. Create a mood. Create a visual display of wordthoughts.

And in the end the poem was strong. Had meaning. Said what it should.

I worked on it, just as it worked on me.


(I can't share the poem with you just yet, as I wrote it to submit to a literary journal for April, hoping it'll be accepted and published. If that's the case, I should be able to share it with you thereafter.)