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oh, that girl can ramble

October 17, 2010
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This post has no real purpose. There is no poem in it for you to read. I just want to ramble about something that’s on my mind. It’s something I am good at, rambling. I hope that it’s a side effect of the creative mind more than it is a side effect of an obsessive mind, though maybe those two things are related.

I wrote today on Facebook that writing about the poets laureate and being inspired by them has me out of my comfort zone (see my recent posts beginning October 13). That can be a good thing, of course. It’s obvious to anyone who’s read my work that I obsess about relationships in my poetry. Though the metaphors vary, I most often write about love or difficulties in love. I had been feeling like a one-trick pony.

But at least 50 percent of my poems so far for this gong have had nothing to do with love or relationships. I have written about boys in wartime, pugs and lobsterman. And yes, I have also written about my mom and about relationships, but it’s interesting to watch myself writing about something else, as well.

And that’s kind of what it’s been like to write about new subjects: like watching someone else do it. I have no idea what I’m doing, but it’s so nice to have some freedom from the foregone conclusion that “this is a relationship poem.” Don’t get me wrong: I am not giving up the relationship poem. I get a lot out of it. I explore a lot of my questions about myself in relationships through the poems I write.

Still, I hope I am disciplined enough to do more new stuff, so I can find in it an element of my voice. I hope I do more of it so I can figure out where its value is for me, what I can learn from it, what I can express in it that no one else can express. I haven’t found it yet (they are just drafts so far and I am only beginning to step away from familiar topics), but there must be something there to explore.

In addition, it was nice to have some writing to share with the boys. I don’t offer them my relationship poems, of course, or the my-mom-got-sick-and-died poems, not just yet, but tonight Jack (age 8 1/2) read out loud both “Pug” and “Lobsterman.” I don’t think all the words made sense to him, but I wonder if it at least meant this to him: My mom puts words together to describe things I know in different ways than I thought about them. That would be enough for me. If he got that.

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2 Comments
  1. October 17, 2010 10:25 pm

    I haven’t read your series yet, because of that icky I-can’t-write place I am in, but I know I am excited for you about this new development. And I am once again encouraged to get off my arse so I can write a little and do more reading. Because I love reading your words.

  2. October 18, 2010 5:25 am

    The mere fact that you are exposing the boys to your work and ideas will, hopefully, be a tremendous benefit to them; about how they look at and think about words, reading and writing, especially if you are able to discuss it together.

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