I have never seen myself as a poet. I write things, and poetry is typically written, so in that way I can see myself as a poet, but I don’t feel at home in poetry. We discussed form a lot in our last class and I’ve enjoyed learning more about form because it resists me. I don’t see my writing as visual art. I hear my writing. I always read what I’ve written out loud to myself to hear how it sounds on the page. I love how words sound and how tone and inflection can change what they mean. But the way it looks? I’ve never really cared.
Maybe that’s a little bit sacrilegious to write on a poetry blog. I’ll elaborate. I want to care, but I don’t have the natural instinct to place line breaks and broad spaces between words to craft a certain form. It’s very new to me, but I want to understand it better and play with different forms. I find free verse a bit daunting at times because it demands vision, which as a poet I haven’t quite yet found. I’ve always thought that writing is a way to explore what I don’t understand, but yet have ideas about. If “form is never more than an extension of the content” of a poem, I find that intimidating. It seems to suggest that a poem wants to fill a certain form, but yet I might not understand what the content demands.
Fears like these keep me writing. Perhaps some of you feel similarly about form, or about the content of your poems, but ultimately I’m excited to exist in a place where I don’t exactly know what to do with my words. There’s possibility living in that space.