Sunday, May 08, 2005

Rod....

All I wanted for mothers day were three good days to write but I did get two runny eggs, toast buttered on both sides, coffee that could kill you and two little girls who love me. It was a good morning.

I am a little apprehensive about writing more about the discussions with Elizabeth, mainly b/c people might get so bored, they may start throwing rocks but it is the only thing in my head at the moment so you will have to endure.

Yesterday Suzanne talked about Emily Dickenson. Can one have a good poetry discussion without Emily? What does she represent to us as poets, more than just her work but her example as a writer? One of the reason I think so many ppl relate to her is because she’s the still small voice that says, even if no one ever sees my work, in a hundred years from now someone may be reading my book.

Yet there has to be a Lavina, the person dedicated to actually seeing the work go to print. The basic fact: talent is not everything, whether we believe it should be or not. Elizabeth said that she has spent her life time researching poets who never made it as writers, more specifically the forgotten black poets. For every one Gwendolyn Brooks there were hundreds who were never heard.

And for some reason Elizabeth finds this comforting, to know that so many things come into play besides the work. I must say my first reaction was down right fear but then I began to think about what I believe about myself and poetry.

The first is, that I believe all the language and everything I need to say is already inside me, that poetry for me is a rediscovering and listening for what I already know to be true. Secondly, that I can no more stop writing than I can breathing, as much as I sometimes try to trick myself into believing I can.

Dorrianne Laux told me that she writes every day so she is out in the field when lightening strikes and if you take that same rule and apply to publication then you are sending work off to be in the field. You are making yourself available so that whatever the universe has to offer, you are open to it. And yes, that bit is comforting.

6 comments:

ruth-e said...

the drive to be read nowadays is constantly also grappling with the drive to hustle in order to be read...which seems another story all together. one of my favorite contemporary poets, steve scafidi, is brilliant but little known because he doesn't engage that hustle. he makes cabinets quietly in west virginia. i imagine myself in the world through someone else's eyes in 40 years, either known or one of what elizabeth calls 'the forgotten black poets'.....drive to write. drive to read. drive to hustle my wares in order to get the opportunity to read...ouch. i keep checking to see if my soul is in my pocket or if i've given it away for a few magic beans...

and, elizabeth is lovely, isn't she...all best...

early hours of sky said...

Elizabeth was brilliant. It was the best discussion I’ve had with a person in ages. She is one of those people who I could have spent days with, hopefully we will meet again.

Thank you for your recommendation of Lynda Hull and I will second the Illya Kaminsky recommendation. He is wonderful.

And as far as the undiscovered poet, I do think there is a huge difference between undiscovered and unrealized. Realization is a personal quest and well discovery is up to the rest of the world, isn’t it?

LKD said...
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early hours of sky said...

Laurel I think defining ourselves is important but I dont think anyone should do it for us. Sharon Olds said she was like the btw, wrote constanly.

LKD said...
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Molly said...

"There are ideas and flashes which a person gets no more than once in a lifetime."

-- Kierkegaard