on the urge to explain

Truthfully, I debated whether or not I should submit the piece I handed out to you all last class up until the moment I physically handed off the stack to be circulated around the room. This isn’t because the poem, or I guess poems, were tremendously vulnerable with regard to their content, but rather because I decided to play around with form in such a way that is far more experimental than I am used to. Although I’m certainly proud of the piece, I’m still so reluctant to share it for fear that people just won’t “get it”, a fear I’m sure you’ve all confronted at some point or another in your writing. Generally, though, I’m more or less willing to accept some amount of misunderstanding when I release my poems into the world, because a lot of the time I don’t fully understand them myself, or they are more about their imagery or sound than they are about their meaning.

This poem was different, though. I wanted so badly to type up a little disclaimer at the top (which I’m trying my best to avoid doing in this blog post, given we haven’t workshopped the piece yet) but that doesn’t seem like a very poetic thing to do. I settled on providing a little key of sorts at the top of the page wherein I connect each of the fonts used in the body of the poem to a title: “for you”, “for us”, and “for me”. Do with that what you will.

Regardless, in submitting this piece I’m trying to get away from feeling the need to explain myself as a poet. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post about learning to be more vulnerable in my work, and I think that this was a step (maybe a small one, but a step just the same) in the right direction. 

One Reply to “on the urge to explain”

  1. That worry about people “not getting it?” Dear god I feel that often, especially in this class. For me, it’s tough to know if people are not getting it or if I’m not poem-ing effectively. Like, are people feeling the feelings I was hoping they would feel, or at least related feelings? If they aren’t, then why not? That’s my measure, though, idk about you.

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