29 August 2011

I believe the world is beautiful/and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

These are the words of Roque Dalton, as translated from the Spanish from his poem "Like You."

And like this poem, I want to use this blog to explore the many ways of how to be a poet in my daily life.

Twelve years ago, I recieved an MFA in Creative Writing with a Poetry emphasis from the University of Alaska Anchorage. During my apprenticeship there, I was somewhat blessed with the traditional view of a poet's life: my friends were young educated, cultured hipsters who hung around bars and classrooms and bookstores and coffee shops and wrote art. And when you are working hard to hone your craft, that is a beneficial lifestyle indeed.

My last year there I was in a workshop with other writers and one writer provided a very important, if not difficult piece of advice for me to hear. Having gone directly from high school to undergraduate to graduate studies, my writing had developed a very certain and defined aesthetic, but I hadn't much experience in the world to apply that aesthetic too. He said:

"Go out and get your hands bloody."

I think I have. And the effect of living a life first and sidelining my writing these past twelve years is that I've fallen out of habit with it.

But I believe, as I did back then, that Roque Dalton is right. That the world is beautiful and that poetry is not for the intellectual elite, but that it is for everyone, for every day life.

It is, like bread. It is something that requires fine ingredients and hard work to knead it into something that will rise and feed our souls.

The full text of Roque Dalton's poem is listed under Pages in a link to the right. --->

In the coming months, I hope to invite a dialogue with this. I hope to break this bread with you, my friends, loved ones, and new friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment