Transcending and learning patience

I am now in a place where I am wondering how I could explore my identity through poetry while at the same time make sure that readers are able to determine the underlying message about the bigger issues happening in the world in regards to human expression and current events. This brings me to the question, how can I weave my exploration of self, philosophy, and the things I learn from observing the world around me, without losing my reader in musings about my personal life and abstractions?

This past year I have felt a mental block whenever I write. When I was younger, I would put my pen to paper and the words would flow right out. But now, I am understanding that what I previously thought was a mental block is actually an awareness that my poetry is no longer just for me, and because of that I am more aware and more careful about what I write on the page. That means that my poems require more time, more research and more introspection on my behalf.

What I am struggling with right now, and I am hoping is not a decision I have to make any time soon is choosing a subject to dedicate my poems to outside of myself. The work I have to do is implement both my personal perspective, while informing the reader about the world around them in order to inspire, reveal, or bring about change. While my personal emotions and recollections can be inspiring to some by themselves, I am beginning to think that it isn’t exactly fair to just have someone read a poem for the sake of feeling like my personal thoughts are important enough to read about. While I thought once upon a time that this kind of poetry was about connectedness and bringing someone into my own world or creating empathy, the question I am currently struggling with is, what makes my world worth stepping into?

Throughout my time as a poet, I have lacked a sort of focus. I have always tried to squeeze all my ideas onto a single poem and I have tried to rush the process. What time has taught me is that anything good takes patience, it cannot be done impatiently. There is nothing really more important waiting for you than the product that will come out of taking your time with something.

One Reply to “Transcending and learning patience”

  1. God, this post is so relevant on so many different levels. First, I can’t believe this was the precursor to the conversation we had on poetry yesterday. For those of you reading, I was asking Carolina for help on how to use techniques to create sound and then input that into a poem. What Caro told me was that I shouldn’t think of it as a mechanical process — it should just happen. This thought got me thinking about how methodical I’ve been in writing my poetry. Upon submission of a workshop poem, I am my worst critic. I contemplate what the poem means and what it would connote to so many different audiences, when in reality it should just be about the feelings/scene/narrative that I’m trying to communicate.

    So thinking about how to introduce themes that connect to the underlying messages and deeper issues is something that I would say is difficult to do. Something that Rachel Hall told me in my Fiction workshop recently was to write for the purpose of telling a story, and then worry about the message, or the message that will form, later on. This is a thought that I’ve struggled with and so my advice is to write for yourself and to continue doing this – just like you told me that I should leave my poetry alone when I regurgitate it out of myself. I think that the connections to world will be made without the implicit purpose to do it.

    Hope this helps and I can’t wait to read future poems.

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