30 Days of Writing about Writing*

photo of few rows of brick topped with moss

I am thinking this morning about how I privilege sound over meaning. For example, I don’t care so much what The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock means because I love the sound of it so much. And the sound of it carries the emotion of it, which is more interesting to me than articulating any sort of precise–or even imprecise–meaning. Many of my own poems start with rhyme, rhythm. I long ago accepted that I often don’t know what my poems mean till years after. Poems tend to excavate my secrets long before my conscious mind can decipher them. Which is not to say I believe in writing nonsensically, but while I will fiercely pursue the “right” sound, I am willing to trust that the poem means something even if I can only glimpse the edges of that meaning. I tend to trust my intuition that it has an internal logic and meaning. And that is why I love readers. They reveal the poem and thus myself to me.

* A word on how I’m thinking about this series and by extension the series on writing about my body. In this particular season of my life, it doesn’t seem possible to write every day or near every day for 30 days straight. But it is possible to accumulate over time 30 bits of writing about a particular subject whether “over time” means over days or months or years. Which may mean I launch a series of series, or it may mean I stick with the body and writing as my subjects for the time being. I am concerned more with creating several loci around which to write rather than concentrating on a mass of writing over a constricted period of time. To borrow from Miss Dickinson, I am working on creating an environment on which to “dwell in possibility.”

Posted on August 29, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I seldom look for meaning in a poem, but am more interested in what responses it elicits, what resonances come forth. Sound and rhythm play large parts in this.

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