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Friday, April 13, 2007

The right state of mind....

I've heard so much from poets about what they write with, where they write or time time of day they prefer for their task. It seems there are any number of ways to approach writing poetry and no single formula is a guarantee success for everyone. But I have discovered a T.S. Eliot quote that suggests how one's mind is best equipped for the enterprise. Eilot says, “When a poet's mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experiences.”

What I am hearing from Eliot sounds like a process of ordering dissimilar experiences or closing them together in some sort of organized way. Melding them on a page. This of course could account for the difficulty many have with poetry, if such a thought process were to seem particularly foreign.

I recall an evening I was alone at home and set down with a pen and my journal and started to write - equating how still the night was and how it wrapped itself around the quite of the house and I felt almost a third wheel to this union. And soon I was writing how I wished you were home and I was the night...

This bit of writing came together in unusual ease. Looking back I can see the joining of dissimilar experiences and the way this developed into a short poem that I have been told by many that they especially like. Yet, it came together in very short order and without the customary multipal rewrites. Perhaps it worked so well because Eliot is on to something.
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