Antsy,  like there is a veritable ant farm just under my skin.  I am restless today.  I cannot sit still, cannot even sit.  I am a little weary.  Does anyone even care?  Most likely no.

 I was thinking about what a person is feeling and how to and not to use this in poetry.  I usually do not use current feelings.  I may take a current situation, or (more frequently) an image, and mix that with fiction.  What would that duct tape mean if someone else brought it, or if it were taken to some other fictional character?  What would it be like to be in love with Judith of kicked-out-of -the-bible-fame?  (I am sort of in love with her, though, and what does it mean to be in love with a myth?  Or do we all only ever fall for myths of our own creating?) 

There was a time, when I was young and naive, when I thought that it was very important for a writer to be currently feeling what they were writing to give it an immediate effect.  Now, though, I know that this only results in vague poetry.  Poetry without grounding.  The sort of fluff that you throw up in the air and have to wait thousands of years for it to reach the ground or your heart.  You cannot wait for it. 

Not that I always abide by my own rules.  I sometimes let a poem slip out without incubating, I write it on paper or on this blog before it should be anywhere out of my mind.  But I always know that it’s not too good. 

Not that poetry needs to be void of feeling, everyone.  We just need to control the feeling in our poetry.  Even uncontrolled feeling needs purpose and direction.  Look at Ginsberg’s “Howl”.  Now that is a masterpiece that is full of rage and overflow while also having a point. 


Filed under literature, Musings, poetry, poetry thursday, writing

8 responses to “Feeling….

  1. For me what works when I write is to allow the words to flow. I have found that I write best when triggered by something outside of me that then unlocks a room inside.

    I always try to have feelings in my works.

  2. fondakowski

    Having a point is definitely the point of this! And I get your point, and PS: I do care how you are feeling! I’ve been restless for weeks now, feeling vague and angry and very unpoetic. But I still write, because you just never know when a good line will pop out of a bad situation. And for you, now, there is definitely something to the Judith-love. I might even start a poem called “Kicked out of the Bible.”

    …and yeah, I do think we all fall for myths. Esp. of our own creation. What kind of poets woudl we be without a passion or infatuation for somethgin that isn’t there?

  3. I agree with you both. Brian, I knew that at least one person would mistake this as a tirade against “feeling” poetry. However, it isn’t at all. I know that this is an assumption, but your name makes me think that you are male. Interestingly, I think that female poets are generally more gaurded when it comes to feeling derived poems. There is a certain status that was once (though not necissarily currently) denied to female poets who were seen as being primarily “feeling” as we are calling it here. I think that Fondowski got the point I was making: feeling poetry needs grounding, it needs a point and a place to belong to when I write it. For others it needs certain sorts of characters or a certain character. (like that ginsberg I spoke of). Thanks to you both. (and Fond, my Judith poem is on this site, just search for it on the side colum there.)

  4. Hi Slynne,

    Yes I am male. I guess I don’t understand the grounded bit, because when I write my poems and stories, I feel detached. As an observer of events that I am documenting. The feelings I have are what I feel when I see rather than write. I’m not making any sense here. 😦

  5. I think you make a very good point. If the feeling is too immediate in poetry it can be uncontrolled and not very readable as poetry or so personal that no-one else can relate to it. The grounding does i think make for better poetry. My favourite poems are certainly those where I sense that vibrant feelings have been worked into the poetry but with careful thought and craft to bring real power to the poetry. There’s usually a lot of feeling in my poetry, but i like to think that it is grounded and crafted.

  6. Every time I’ve thought I had this poetry thing “figured out,” I’ve gone and broken all my own rules. I think if you continue to sit down and write, something will emerge, and sometimes it’ll be good and sometimes it’ll be crap. Beyond that, I got nothin’.

  7. I feel/ I think for me writing is a synthesis of feeling and perspective. Often the feeling comes out in my initial draft which is most often occasioned by an experience, insight, news story, reflection etc. It comes tumbling out coarse and fast. Then it turns away for a while… that is when I know it is time to write ” first draft” on the top of the napkin, post it, dollar bill or whatever my pencil found. I then file it literally and subconsciously. I come back and add perspective and some polish. I always wish I had more time to work on these things. But I compromise with my compulsion to express and post. Much of my stuff is short and distilled. I long for the luxury of time when I can write more extended pieces. But I do
    what I can and try not to compare my work to that of others.

    slynne, I think you have interesting things to say and often do so with brilliance.

    with regard, Happy Holidays

  8. I guess I am one of those writers who has to ride the wave of emotion to write anything at all. When I sit down to write on purpose, my words are stilted. Even if I try to edit or rewrite something I composed a while ago, I can’t do it because I don’t have the same feelings to draw on anymore. The best I can do is try to steer in one direction while I am riding that wave.

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