No, I don’t mean writing here. I’m not sure I can enunciate a reason for writing in a blog, much less daily as I seem to have been doing lately. But: why write poetry? Do I think I’m as good as the other poets out there? Well, yes I do. Except for maybe Seamus Heaney and one or two others. That does leave a person a lot of leeway, though.
For the last many years, I’ve thought, I wish so-and-so (specific teacher, poet, whoever) would tell me my poems suck, to go be a shoe saleswoman in a mall somewhere instead. I visualize the relief of not having to write anymore, of not having to be a witness. Someone who can just speak what she feels and sees, and who has no power to affect the world around her.
It only just occurred to me half an hour or so ago that this is giving up such power as I have (little, maybe, but there). With all due respect to those who sell shoes, especially those fine people at Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, my destiny does not lie there. (At least, not as employee.)
If I continue to view my talent as in some way subject to choice or another’s whim, I degrade myself. And I’ve been doing so for many years. Time for a rethink.