Jack Myers states, “In studying the basis for human life, you would quickly see that nature itself loves to create.” Taking a look outside my office window proves just so: my lantana, merely leaves weeks ago, is robust with clusters of white blooms; the anthill just outside my patio looks twice its size from the time I last observed it; a spider has woven an intricate web upon the decorative door I’ve placed behind my wisteria bush. Just this introduction to the chapter makes me want to write a poem.
But then, Jack pushes you off the diving board and forces you to the deepest part, the subconscious mind. He talks about parts of the self and how they must “connect” in order to create. He offers Wordsworth’s definition of poetry and goes on to say, “This state of receptivity that forms the atmosphere for creativity seems to be galvanized into action, many times on the unconscious level, by the power of suggestion triggered by our associations and powers of deduction.” The first thing that comes to mind is his advice to me to always “read as much as I can, when I can” and to take time to “watch” the world.
This then leads me to think about the “definition” of poetry: how many definitions are there, which one is most valid, what about its evolution, etc, etc, etc. What is your definition of poetry? Can one truly define it? The poem that comes to mind when pondering this is John Ashbery’s “Paradoxes and Oxymorons.” What are your thoughts on what this poem is saying? Megan Snyder-Camp suggests that “What I get, rather, is exactly what I need, which shifts with each reading.”
“The poem is you.” – John Ashbery. Now get to reading, and writing. Watch the world.