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December 19, 2013 by musehick

I have tried to move away from poetry as catharsis – meaning stuff that was purely me airing my dirty laundry in public. I wanted to write poetry that was concerned with ideas. It has proved difficult though, and I know some good work has been done whilst under the yoke of personal misery. I had forgotten though how much of a useful tool it once was for digging me out of the doldrums.

The urge, I suppose, was not to be self-indulgent – but it was predicated on a misunderstanding … the idea that writing personally affected and effecting poetry was necessarily a recipe for self-indulgence, when so-called poetry of ideas can just as quickly descend into a flagrant display of literary onanism. It is all in the execution.

I have written some sad poetry this week, but I fell better for having written it, and it has added an entirely different flavour to the collection I have been working on. I suppose it is more a flavour of myself, and that is always a good thing, no? To be able to say the writer is engaged in his work. I am always engaged, but am I always evident? I would argue not. I want to be in some ways, but never at the expense of the work – and this involves striking a somewhat delicate balance, on I hopefully become increasingly better at doing.

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