The Poetic Creative Process Essay

The Poetic Creative Process Essay

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The poetic creative process is certainly a daunting task; one that takes the author through a world that distracts, terrifies, angers, and eventually elates the artist. It is difficult, attempting to create “a house that attempts to be haunted” in the span of a few, or even many lines of poetry. How can a poet possibly include ghosts that will haunt the reader in every single one of their poems? That seems to be the first test of success or failure as an artist. That is not to say that if every work is not perfect then it fails, but perhaps the author must continually revise their work in order to grow, which sets forth the frustrating, terrifying, and sometimes heartbreaking creative process once more.
With my own work, that is the problem I struggle with most consistently. I have trouble fleshing out a line I have written, even with the proper encouragement and guidance. Some of my works are far less serious than others and I worry about the images in those pieces are too weak and will not make an impact on my reader. Does that make my piece a failure – or does it become a successful paradox because it haunts me until I feel like I get it right? Does the fact I cannot stop thinking about my work mean it is now a proper “specter” because it remains scattered in my brain, even though it may not haunt my readers? I think that is a lesson I have learned throughout the semester: just because the poem needs to go through revision (probably until I die), does not mean I have failed as a poet. Revision is an issue I struggle with as well; I find I dread the process because I can never tell if the changes I am making are successful or not. I wonder if I am perhaps too reckless with the process; where does one draw the line of knowing ...


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...athed new life into a world I was no longer familiar with, so it had to be changed, but I think the original “specter” still lurks beneath the poem’s surface.
That is what I have most taken from this class – that the recklessness of writing, the daring revision, the dread of being critiqued, and the determination to finish the piece is what makes a poem have soul; it is what drives the artist to create work they will be proud of. It stresses how to think critically about our pieces and just exactly how haunting those works will be. We, as artists must engage with the demons that push us forward so that poetry created will live on long after the artist has gone. I think a quote from the song Control by Halsey, puts it nicely:
And I’ve grown familiar
With villains that live in my head
They beg me to write them
So I’ll never die when I’m dead

How true that is.

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