Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Write it!; or, just get something down

For a woman who does not really consider herself to be a big fan of poetry, I certainly find myself influenced by the poems that I have had relationships with. Don't get me wrong, I like poetry; some of  my best friends are poets. But, I am a prose gal. I studied the novel in grad school, and I teach the essay, but it is poems that follow me around.

One poem that takes walks with me and tugs at my sleeve trying to get my attention quite regularly is "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop. I only know two poems by Bishop "One Art" (reprinted below) and "At the Fishhouses." But both of them haunt me regularly. I have written about "One Art" before. I am including that blog here, as well. In the past, this poem appealed to me as a way of processing loss, but today, as I continue to struggle with writer's block (yes that is going to be a recurring theme here for a while), the parenthetical exclamation to just (Write it!) from "One Art" pops into my head.

Just write it. It is I am sure the probable motto if Nike were to make pens instead of shoes. It is also what I tell my students when they struggle with their writing. Right now, I hear my voice saying things like "it doesn't have to be good" or "it is easier to edit, than to produce, so just write something" and I hate myself a little.It is so easy to tell someone else to reach into their vault of words and to assemble them onto a page, but so difficult to do it myself. What is it about writing that seems so hard? What is it about words that seems treacherous at times?

1 comment:

  1. "The more you write (and read), the easier the writing is." "Just write -- and write and write -- and you're going to find something good, something worthwhile." I tell my students these kinds of things. Sometimes, I think they're as dubious as I am about them.

    Also, sometimes writing is all I can do, but often it doesn't seem enough. Words can be slippery, evasive, ill-fitting, but I have no other medium than words.

    By the way, I love your words. I love that you share them with us.