Tuesday, November 11, 2008

addict

My name is Sarah Aubrey Gazaneo and I'm a poetry junkie.

Ever since that fateful night, over fifteen years ago, when I couldn't sleep, slipped out of bed to snatch a pencil and piece of paper from my desk, and scrawled my first poem in the dark, I have been an addict. I've just completed my third (unpublished) book of poetry which would sound impressive if you weren't aware of the tawdry verse that fills most of their pages. Especially the first one. Preteen angst, mostly.

Those tear filled nights, those epic travels, those introspections, those seasonal colours, those unmentioned grudges and those first-time experiences wouldn't have been half as exciting, however, if I hadn't captured them in poems. Plus, tediously feeding my contemplations through the eye of poetry greatly diminished the risk of lashing out. Often the task of writing brought low every mountain and hill, raised every valley, made the crooked roads straight and the rough ways smooth.

I'm still torn between the cathartic nature of poetry (I mean, we all feel better after a bowel movement but we don't publish the results) and its art form. I still feel embarrassed, like a third-grader who has had a painting displayed on the family refrigerator but is old enough to recognize its substandard quality, when my poems are aired. And yet, as my brother would dryly point out, I voluntarily blog about them. And email them to close friends. And, when the illusions of grandeur are particularly strong, attempt to have them published.

I told you, it's an addiction.

Alan R. Wilson wrote this brilliant article on the addiction of poetry in the Globe's Life section a few days ago. He laments:

"Distressed, overwhelmed, resigned to my fate, I joined a university writing group. The experience was more like AA meetings adjourned to the pub, where confessions and drunken suggestions poured out."

Fifteen years of this habit have not been enough to break me of it. I still write, I still share, and I'm submitting six more to be considered for publication. Shortlisting these prized six revealed two comforting aspects (defenses?) of my poetry:
  1. My skill is improving.
  2. Graciously, the improvement has occurred as I enter into what I expect to be a long, delicious season of writing about one man, one romance, just one, my hubby. Twenty-five poems and counting.
so soft he is with me,
gently, so!

i am lace
i am memory
i am crème brûlée

1 comment:

Andrew G said...

'tis true... you're improving significantly as a poet, my Love.