Not Doing it Justice

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?


One Reply to “Not Doing it Justice”

  1. 1. Yes, I do feel this way. #bigmood

    2. Well, love poems make me nervous. I have to make them as original as possible, since “love” is such a popular subject. I’m working on one right now, so y’all will be subjected to that soonish (Marley DeRosia gave me notes on it; she told me to remove gerunds, which I then had to Google to figure out what those were). Also, any kind of writing about family members is anxiety-inducing for me, so I feel you on the grandfather thing. I have a hell of a lot to say about my late step-grandfather, but haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

    3. Please write about horses! I’d love to read a horse poem! [I’m allergic to them, so I can’t experience them up close]

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