Revision and Creation: 1 – Close Attention pt. 1

The initial post introducing the ideas here occurred over on Poetry Thesis Musings, a blog about it being self-defining. Go ahead and take a minute to read that; it’s short, I promise.

Now that you’ve read the initial post, walk along this exploration with me. The beginning of this journey is about the act of close attention. As just about any poet will tell you, close attention is one of the primary aspects of writing poetry. Another way to say this is that poems do not unveil themselves without your hard work of paying attention to the world around you.

But what does this have to do with revision?

Good question, you! Where ecstatic creation in the face of the results of close attention (a good example is found among the Beat Poets) may result in much earnest poetry–and even very good poetry–the act of revision asks for close attention to the poem, the poet, and the subject of the poem. Revision forces the poet to decide, to act, to reflect, to unveil, and to question.

Continue reading “Revision and Creation: 1 – Close Attention pt. 1”

Ha Ha! I’m Back!

Over the past year, most of my posts appeared either here or here. But now, I think, it is time to return to Poetic Idealism.

I would like to revisit the purpose behind Poetic Idealism. As I write on the about page,

 criticism, reflection, and etc. about reading and writing poetry; sometimes social commentary creeps in; and every once in a while, I’ll post a (or part of a) poem here

and I think that covers the major purposes. Maybe I’ll begin posting rants here…

Continue reading “Ha Ha! I’m Back!”

Why I Write – Pt. 3

“Because I want things to exist in the world.”—Impossible Mike, “an excessive pointlessness beyond terror and despair: why do i write”—HTMLGiant

Part 1 – The Existential

Part 2 – The Practical

Part 3 – The Personal

My family, previous girlfriends, and my wife will tell you I am not very good at communicating. This is true. I spend more time thinking through what I will say than I do saying it. This has the added quality that once I have thought something through, I express myself as economically as possible. My vocalizations usually come in the form of “Yes,” “No,” or “I don’t know,” leaving little for a conversation partner to grasp upon. So I have found that writing is both a way to think through things, but also a better way for me to communicate. There is something about the physicality of writing—whether by keyboard or by pen and paper—which allows a better expression for me than what seems to be an ephemeral act of speaking. Emotions, thoughts, reasoning become more readily accessible. Continue reading “Why I Write – Pt. 3”

Why I Write – Pt. 1

“Because I want things to exist in the world.”—Impossible Mike, “an excessive pointlessness beyond terror and despair: why do i write”—HTMLGiant

Part 1 – The Existential

This is not a very good explanation. It strikes a true chord. I am/We are continually exiting Plato’s cave into the light. Better still, we have the capability to shine light inside that cave. I have a capability to shine a light. A little light, and a small corner of the cave, but so what? While I might have been raised in the evangelical sense of the children’s song, there is—and always has been—a greater sense of humanity, a greater sense of the cave. Sometimes there is a sense of being overwhelmed—such a little light, such an awesome cave. As Impossible Mike puts it, “an excessive pointlessness beyond terror and despair.” You are being too generous.

I write because I know there is no success in my genre. The challenges I face—the darknesses I dare—are the ones I determine to confront. Am I blind to those I choose not to? Yes. And no. Self-doubt creeps in at those blind spots. So, again, why should I choose to write, to expose myself to the self-doubt, the known shortcomings, the fears and loathings? Is it pointless to place new little lights into the world?

Continue reading “Why I Write – Pt. 1”