Tuesday, June 27, 2006

short walk back to inspiration

k: maybe more like take 2 instead of part 2, as this is going to right back to the word inspiration and … well, i want to talk more about love.

the reason i think “love” poems and “heart” poems have such a hard time in today’s poetic market and is rarely touched by poets themselves is because… answer me dear, what is love?

is it love for a brother living half-way around the world, love for a little grey cat, a tall dancing polish boy, a diva, a specific scent of hand-cream? all these loves are soooooo different. we feel something for each of them, but the love one has for a well-bound book is different to the love someone might have of a particular taste or of a person. love of a person is so complex that one, as a poet, needs to choke it down into the details.

i think poetry is the art of specification, the art of making your reader feel the same thing as you in that moment. on the other hand

this is a little bit back to inspiration.

i would go on about what is love, ah, but dinner is ready ^_^

a: Aha, dear! Right on! I won't even attempt to answer, What is love? But I can't agree more that poetry is the art of specification (even though I can certainly think of example of poetry as the art of generalization, those insights about life)...

a (again, later): I think you covered an important point about inspiration: motivation. And I think we are making value judgment here, saying that we value emotional motivation to material ones. But I think the important thing to realize is that inspiration is a form of motivation in and of itself: to earn the love of someone, the admiration of someone, the acceptance of someone... Even if that someone is absent (no longer there, or is imaginary). And that is not to reduce creativity by reducing it to its emotional/psychological motivators; rather it is an acknowledgement of its roots. One (valuable) thing I learnt from therapy is how little we grow up, how more fragile we (or the child in us) become as we grow older, how base even our haughtiest motivations are... And similarly, that is not to say that humans are base, but it is too love the human for being so imperfect and fragile. So, I might write for you, or the idea of you, or Roland, or Obeida, or Ahmad, or some imaginary editor in an imaginary journal, or me (and that isn't any more noble). I guess that brings us back to the question of audience you raised in that great Whitman quote, and my Existentialism professor... I think we write not because we love, but because we want to be loved. Isn't that why we do everything that we do after all? Even love? I think even the most evil acts are born out of the need for love, in its one form or another. (That is not to ignore other forms of motivation, though: anger, power, lust, revenge... From the list I guess you can see that I don't think of humanity that highly...).

And for some reason, I cannot separate your prism metaphor from that iconic image of the prism on the cover of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon"? Is it related in any way? (Pink Floyd have some kick-ass poems in their songs!)


Crunchy Weta said...

My 5c worth. I tink love poems are out of favour because they are so uninteresting to those not involved. Its such a common experience and has been written about sooo many times there is little new to say about it (holey socks being the notable exception). It had its moment of splendour back in the days when that whole romance thing was such a new ideal. Think about romantic comedies - arent they just the most predictable and repetitive things to watch?? I think people have shifted paradigm to thinking about love in a more spiritual/all encompassing manner - once they are past the youthful flush of 'love'.
Do I write to be loved? Interesting proposition. There may be some of that, although I certainly don't feel short of love (it's as much about giving as taking?). I certainly 'really like' playing with words and creating and using poetry to focus my thoughts and find new ideas.
I enjoy reading this blog, and have refrained from responding to many of the posts- mainly because I would have to spend considerable time writing a response! - and also I usually spend hours thinking about points you have raised. With children running around it can be difficult to get a few hours together to give proper consideration to a reply. Very interesting blog!

katy said...

i completely understand about not having time to responde, let alone get to reading these long posts. but we're grateful for your visiting the ship and for pondering. that's all we really can do, is prevoke and yeild pondering.

as far as love and poetry, well, it's difficult to seperate. i think that, yeah, it's been done a lot, but there are poems out there that are being written today that do the feelings the poet him or her self is feeling at that moment justice.

the point that you made though, glenn, about the poem being uninteresting to those not involved... how true; but there's the challenge isn't it? to make something so refined and detailed as your own love for someone, and express it in words and gestures that give it cause for universality and empathy.

p.s. thanks for the exclusion, you made me all smiles ^_^ at least all those holes in his socks have come to some justification. i am awful to his socks. i'd wear my own but... they all have holes in them.