Saturday, July 02, 2005

(Something I posted on Caferati about the need for poets and writers to edit their work)

I don't know how qualified I am to make a comment, as I started writing poetry recently after having given up long ago to write fiction, content (which feeds me), and my soulful outpourings of anguish.

Some artistically inclined people have the wrong notion that poetry is easy and they can write anything so long as they feel like writing and it is naturally good because they wrote it. I would like to recall JJ's comment here "Just because you are lovesick like a puppy doesn't mean you have to write good poetry" or something to that effect, I don't remember, blame it on advancing age.Poets who tend to think whatever they put down on paper is great poetry are "lazy" poets. They do not let their fires rage and then pick up the few embers that could light fires in others. This debate has been raging in all our readmeets.

Should poetry be edited? Some poets say, "I wrote in the spur of the moment to express my feelings. I won't change a word." Well, then, you write your poetry and read it to yourself and keep it in some corner of your mind and then, may be, look at it a few years later to go all misty eyed.Point is, as poets or wannabe poets we are all seeking an audience. If not why would we post here or read it at a readmeet?

As you said "We are artistic performers, who perform our oeuvres with passion so as to inspire others." Great poetry inspires as does great music.Editing of poetry is as important, if not more important than editing prose. Because there are only a few words, the need is greater. As performers and actors of words we don't want to present our bedraggled, unrehearsed, unwashed, un-madeup, thoughts before the public. Presenting such a "lazy" profile would depreciate his/her work considerably in the eyes of the audience. Can such "lazy" artists make progress in their craft remains to be seen. It's like a hotelier who says, "Eat if you want to. This is how I cook my food and I do it to satisy myself. By the way, I eat any rubbish." He would be out of business in no time.

Just my two-paise worth! I don't mean any offense but I am posting this to help those like me who are teachable and learnable and wish to improve their craft.

1 comment:

simar said...

Hi John
Just happened to land up in your blog and read this..At first i thought i would just skip it, but as I read, each word, each line reminded me of similar thoughts i once nurtured deep within me...Felt good that someone shared the same thought process and brought it up in such a beautiful manner...I'm just a beginner at writing, and hope my quest for better writing finds its home...
Keep in touch

Simar