As poets, we confront our fears quite often. Poetry can be a very vulnerable art form.
Lately, however, I have been struggling with a more superficial fear. There are certain subjects that I have been putting off because I feel as if I will not do them justice. At this point in my creative writing journey, I can tell from the moment I pick up the pen, whether or not a poem will elicit the “literary rush” that Henry has blogged about or if it will fall flat on its face and be deemed mediocre. It is this second outcome that scares me.
I love poetry because it can capture seemingly indescribable feelings and put them into words; however, I fear that I will be unable to capture these indescribable feelings. For example, I am an avid equestrian. Needless to say I love poetry with horse-related imagery and themes; however, I have yet to write a poem in college that references horses. I am nervous that I will not do the sport nor the animal justice. Similarly, I would love to dedicate more poems to my grandfather, yet I am afraid that I will not be able to find words that suffice.
Of course, I want to write these poems, I just do not know how. I have written more than my fair share of mediocre poems, but writing a mediocre poem about topics other than myself or an ambiguous figure makes me uneasy. What if I am not doing this external subject justice?
Does anyone else ever feel this way? What are you afraid of writing about?