Friday, May 06, 2005

Last night we talked about the fire within poets, the desire which pushes us to write. It was a very interesting discussion. Elizabeth spoke about one of her best friends, who always won awards for her writing, who was the person who was suppose to grow up to be the poet.

The thing was she didn’t have the fire. It was possible for her not to write so she stopped. I understand this. I love to paint but I don’t need to paint. It does not make me crazy if I don’t paint. Yet you do not want to be in the same room with me when I haven’t written. It's not pretty.

It is my fire. I think writers have a lot of different combinations of burning. I have a friend who blows me away with the amount of work she produces and yet she has no desire to be published. I don't think I ever understood this but I am beginning to realize lately that everyone has their own unique journey.

Not all poets have the desire to be read by other people and I don’t think you need that to be a great poet. Emily Dickenson didn’t. She had only the desire to write. A person who has a fire to be read does not put thier poems in a box. It is not possible.

I have a fire to be read. There is something that happens to me when I read in front of people, when I realize the whole room in breathing in, when I am breathing in, that we are in this moment, in a space I’ve created. To be honest sometimes that is even better than the feeling of nailing a poem. And nailing a poem is damn good.

One of the most important things I think I heard last night is that Teresa Ballard is never going to arrive anywhere. Even if I get everything I want, if I win Yale before I am forty I am still going to want something else. I am still going to continue on this journey. And oddly enough that is comforting. I don’t have to wait for something to happen to make me the writer I see in my head. I just get to be her.

8 comments:

Suzanne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anne said...

I love this post. "I don’t have to wait for something to happen to make me the writer I see in my head. I just get to be her." I want to engrave that on something and hang it on my wall.

A teacher of mine, Roger Mitchell, once said something like: anyone can be a poet, but you have to really want to be one and most people don't want it enough. I think that's true.

Suzanne said...

[Note to self: no posting in comment boxes before 6am]

I did love this post, T! :-)

LKD said...

Why oh why did you zap your comment, Suzanne?

early hours of sky said...

Yes, why did you delete your post besides it has take me two kids and eight hours to respond, sorry about that. I thought you brought up some really interesting things about Emily but I think I need a larger box to respond.

Anne, yes want is an amazing thing.

And Miss Laurel, I am writing I promise. The girls are half way in bed.

Suzanne said...

Ummm, sorry? I'm going through one of those I hate every example of words that I've ever strung together phases. xo

Emily Lloyd said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
32poems said...

I was just reading about a similar subject on Reb Livingston's blog. One of the comments discussed how one could have a book and go on a book tour and then they'd think they should have spent that time on the book tour writing a second book, etc. That feeling of "not enough" is so common. We win all the awards and we still allow ourselves to feel it "isn't enough."