Happy Friday, everyone! For today’s reflections, here’s the topic and question:
What is “the figure a poem makes” for you?
Of course, I’m not just talking about Mr. Frost’s essay titled the same. And when I say “poem”, I mean all kinds of art!
It ought to be…
We all have our ideas about writing, or creating art of whatever kind. We all have our preferences, have our beliefs about what makes for the best poem, the best novel, the best painting… Different audiences will obviously have different interests:
Mr. Frost believed that a poem “must ride on its own melting“, that it ought not be “worried into being” – when one is in the act of creating, one should flow with the creativity.
Some may firmly believe that one needs to work every aspect of a work over, quite meticulously, and from beginning to end, for it to achieve the greatest effect.
Naturally, not everyone feels the same way about the act of creating. But there is usually this common idea: A poem should carry the writer away, and only then will it carry the reader away. This is one of Mr. Frost’s key points, Mr. King expresses something quite similar:
You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.
This is most important. Unless one has been touched, how can expect to touch another? Whether touched emotionally or intellectually, or both, it is the experience of it that teaches us best what works in any art.
Most writers like to write the genre they read the most, since it resonates with them the best.
What it means to you
So what is the figure a poem makes for you? What do you like to read or watch? Should it be short or long, rhymed, unrhymed, its language simple or erudite?
If you go back and read what you’ve created, how similar is it to what you read?
Think about those all-time favorite novels you love to read — has your work touched your readers the way these favorites have touched you?
For those that prefer to read and to write two completely different genres: how or why do you think that is?
What “figure” do you believe a poem should make? (Again, replace “poem” with any kind of art.) How do you think this figure should be achieved?
Give an essay on what the process of creativity is for you!
You could write it in prose like Mr. Frost did; it could be about all art, or just one kind, or just one particular piece of work of yours or someone else’s. You could write a letter to someone asking you about your process of creating. Or maybe a diary-entry about your day at work, being a writer! How did you get your work done?
It could be a poem about writing poems! Here’s an excerpt from my attempt at this a few months ago:
you’re holding the pen so
you hold all the possibilities;
your imagination is
its direction, limitless
as long as your thoughts are limitless.
let go of unbelief
embrace the pen
give every poem a chance
to realize itself
and you’ll create them
in the process.
Are you following your own guidelines in creating something (about creativity)? 😉
Personally, my process is a lot like what Mr. Frost talks about.
For me the initial delight is in the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew.
I love getting into the flow and letting the currents take me where they will; and I love being surprised at the end, even if I’m the one doing the creating! It’s a wonderful feeling. Indeed, for me, too, this is the most precious quality of a poem:
Its most precious quality will remain its having run itself and carried away the poet with it.
Have fun exploring your own creative process! I wish everyone happy writing & a happy weekend! 🙂