Questionable poetry

Those who spotted the poem that has since disappeared may have questions. Let me cut you off at the pass – I didn’t lose the courage of my convictions, of course…!

All through the night I was troubled by the various things I wanted to do to the poem, so clearly it was premature to give it a form of publication in first draft state. Being habituated to instant social media can make me, perhaps, a little too quick off the mark.

I’m not embarrassed, and I’m not going to bash it, because I like much about it otherwise I wouldn’t have posted it in the first place. But it was an experiment; at the moment, it lacks a sense of resolution and convincing conclusion to the problem it is describing, and in a sense it chickens out of its own existence by abandoning my careful, fun, interesting and rather joyous attempt at writing in iambic pentameter when finally in the last verse I threw in the towel. The symbolism of the free ending doesn’t work (if the structure is supposed to have facilitated the language, then I haven’t sufficiently accounted for its ultimate abandonment) and it’s precisely because I think it could be better that I want to rework it a little. So, it’ll be back.

Unfortunately I can’t now see how to take down the version which has gone automatically to Goodreads, but I’m not so anxious about that to be bothered researching it now… so it’s still there.

I enjoy the intensity of language that is allowed and encouraged when writing poetry. I enjoy using language in expressionist bursts of power. The challenge for me is in writing prose that is airy enough to be readable. That’s the line I walk in creative writing, because I think I tend towards dense and over-serious, probably overblown prose (probably the inescapable influence of Charlotte Bronte, who will always be the paradigm of writing for me, having grown up absorbing her words).

I used to be self-conscious about writing poetry, because I was concerned that writing poetry would come across as a form of pretentious self-positioning. That doesn’t worry me any more, because I know it’s honest, and am no longer anxious about whether other people think it is pretension. I know it’s honest, for me, and that’s what matters. And the creative imperative is such that it outweighs other concerns. That’s not pretension either. How exhausting to have to consider oneself from the outside!

I can get away with experimentation in poetry which isn’t quite so readily available anywhere else, and that’s extremely appealing. Be warned, if you’re following. There may be more.

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