Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Allow me a moment of literary despair...

I'm having one of those phases of longing to write poetry, and producing nothing but crap. Well, not crap exactly, compared to the entire world of amateur poetry, but crap compared to what I feel I should be capable of by now.

Maybe I should use more similes.

I don't often despair if I feel a lack of talent--for the most part, that feeling drives me to be better. But my muse is not a switch-on-and-off muse, and sometimes I have the awful suspicion that no matter how much I learn, I will always depend on a muse that I have no control over. Which means I could be hopeless.

In actuality, I'm fairly certain that I'll get out of this rut. I always do. But everything looks bleaker in an afternoon math class.

One day I'll write like James. My greatest fear is that I've already written my "Birches" and don't know it...that I've already written the best thing I ever will.

But I guess I'll never know unless I keep writing, will I?


Guy Mayhem said...


I'm flattered. But don't worry about it. Everyone goes through dry patches. I haven't written a decent poem since December.

It's hard to ever determine whether you've written your "Birches". I don't think you can even make that call. It's a bad state of mind to think that you could have ever peaked.

Something that comforts me sometimes is that Sharon Olds told me she questions why she should write anymore, what else she has to say. When she said that, I was blown away. I mean, she's SHARON OLDS! She's the most important female poet living today. How could she possibly think that?

Everyone questions their abilities. My answer. Read more. That's the only way to break bad streaks. How much poetry are you reading?

isha said...

i love you liz... sometimes things don't make sense. sometimes I hate singing, and sometimes I'm really tired of little kids... and sometimes I just wish life would stop and I could be a victorian women in a nice asylum where they would leave me alone and forget to do shock treatments.... and I could sit outside with a book, white dress and umbrella on a green lawn...