Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Poetic Risk

This whole business of art and risk that I mentioned in my post yesterday came about as a result of listening to an NPR broadcast in which a person was talking about a architect with a particular flair for bold artistic design. The person related how his work involved great risk taking and asked if, "after all isn't that what art is about, being able to take risks?"

The suggestion of artists being able to take risks with their work was not totally new to me. Still, it is not something that I dwelled upon and really didn't extent my thoughts so far as my own poetry.

In comment to my post yesterday, Roxx talked about the risk involved in submitting your work. And while I too thought about this, I have sent out enough material and read enough of my work in public that I am for the most part not particularly wary of such exposure any longer. At least not to the point of dwelling on it with dread or fear of rejection. I know this is a hurdle most all of us have to get over at some point and I don't want to minimize what Roxx has said, but I am thinking more about the risk in the act of creating art itself. Forget submitting it anywhere for a moment and think about writing in a journal a poem or poems. Where is the risk that you are taking, or are you?

It is a challenge to cycle through ideas sometime and write about things that have been touched upon a million times before by others. You have to be different in your approach. Perhaps this has something to do with the advent of post modern poetry and many gravitating away from structured forms and or creating new ones themselves.

Stepping outside the box and doing something different or applying yourself diligently to a form or subject matter that has historically been uneasy for you... these are risks. The first erasure poems involved risk. The first Hay(na)ku poems were risks... and so on. If you are putting something together that you believe in, but know is different and challenges the norm, and may or may not be widely accepted, than you have risk.

So now, I need take a good hard look at myself and ask just how often am that I allowing myself to take risks with my writing?

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