Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pen to paper

Sitting alone in her room, Emily Dickinson channeled her thoughts into her poetry. She didn't write for an audience. She poured all of herself into her poems. When the creative spark stirred her to write, Emily responded in her own quiet way. I think she was having her own inner dialogue as she crafted sharp, visual images to convey her thoughts about women, life, death, love, nature and God. Writing it all down through poetry on paper became her way to explore these thoughts creatively. The two sides of this poet, public and creative, coexisted amicably. Like a treasure, I think she probably enjoyed having this secret life as a poet. Her poems breathed on their own for her. She was an individual woman creating without any restraints on her art. No outside critic was allowed access to her poetry. Her poetry could stand free and pure on its own. Just as she intended.

I would like to share with you one of my favorite Dickinson poems.

The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot's pausing
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.

I've known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.

In the spirit of Dickinson, I have to remember to write for myself. I think my writing will have more authenticity if I worry less about pleasing critics or following current trends in poetry. I'm afraid to fall into the trap of looking at each poem as whether or not it is "worthy" of being published. Like Dickinson, I'll honor my one on one dialogue with my poems. I'll try and see where those thoughts take me from poem to poem.

7 comments:

G said...

An excellent idea. One should always write for the most important audience out there: yourself.

I approach my writing the same way I approach my blogging: I'm writing to entertain me. If other people like it, they'll let me know. If not, they won't.

That being said, I tip my hat off to anyone (including you) who can write poetry. For me, I find that poetry is the hardest thing to write in and anyone who can do it, and do it well, has my immediate respect.

I look forward to what small snippet you choose to share with your readers when you're ready to do so.

Joanne said...

I don't know too much about poetry, but it seems that writing for yourself does bring an authenticity to the words, in many types of writing. And that's when your heart shows through the words, reaching your readers' heart in return.

Michelle said...

And that is all you can do, isn't it? Hopefully it's something that helps you find happiness with your writing.

I'd not seen this Dickinson before (obviously not an expert), but she did so much so nicely and with such great imagery!

CDB said...

Hmm. Secret Life of Poets, indeed a nice thought.

I agree.. it's difficult to remember to write for oneself, and let "them" come. But very important. Keep it up!

The Write Girl said...

Hi Septembermom,

Wonderful sentiments. I couldn't agree more. I remember reading Emily Dickenson and loving her also. I like the writing you create and people will follow your authentic voice.

Amanda said...

Beautiful poem, Septembermom.

45 and Aspiring said...

April is poetry month. Mommy's Nintendo at http://theitsybitsymonkey.blogspot.com/ is committing to write and post a peom a day. . .maybe you'd like to join her? (Tell her I sent you if you do. . . )