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 ...
... middle of paper ...
...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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