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January 30, 2013 by musehick

I noticed something interesting today – I may have noticed it about myself before and mentioned it elsewhere, but at least for now it seems like a new thought: when I am watching lots of films I tend to write more prose, and when I am listening to more music I tend to write more poetry; and in that transitional phase between the two states it hits a kind of even-stevens situation.

Now, why would this be? Well, it kind of seems obvious, to me at least. Watching movies and television is all about plot drive and characters and a specific way of forming a narrative, that takes an initial idea and rolls it out into the formation of a world. Conversely music is about stripping the story back to something iconic and instantaneous and lyrical. I think about and process the data differently because it triggers different ways of thinking.

I have always loved telling stories, but in poetry form there is something that makes each poem seem like the beat of a heart. You are pulled deep into the blood and guts of the poet, or should be. Poetry is less of a head trip and more of a gut feeling. I don’t want to say that readers who read the two different kinds of literature might also be a little different, but they are at least in different places and are coming to the things that they are reading for different purposes – a poem generally isn’t going to engage with you in a different way to how a piece of prose is. The time factor is an important distinction (unless you are reading an epic), and by that I mean not just the amount of time taken to consume a piece, but the time in which it has an effect on you.

I am reading interviews a lot again, getting into some serious thinking mode about aesthetics. I am reading Ayn Rand’s book on non-fiction, and while I don’t necessarily buy into the philosophy espoused in the book, I am definitely being inspired by it. And I started editing, and also conceptualised a whole raft of books the other day.

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