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goldenlangur

Words do not stave off the world, they are the world; how we make the world. The only way we make the world. They are how we know and document the information our senses record; there are no primal un-worded senses. We often stumble, for sure, but even in inarticulacy the words are all we have.....

 

But none of this will last.

 

Angwin and Loydell - The Present Where (2001)

 

 

Reading this I wondered about the dilemma, we all face, sometimes or even many times - Writer's Block. What happens when you lose the flow? How does this come about? How do you cope with it? How do you get out of it? What helps? What doesn't help? Do you still read and review when you're in the full grip of this malaise? Or does getting away from it all help?

 

Would you like to share your experiences, thoughts and suggestions?

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Words do not stave off the world, they are the world; how we make the world. The only way we make the world. They are how we know and document the information our senses record; there are no primal un-worded senses. We often stumble, for sure, but even in inarticulacy the words are all we have.....

 

But none of this will last.

 

Angwin and Loydell - The Present Where (2001)

 

 

Hi Golden,

 

The longer I live, watch, observe, become aware and (hopefully) enlightened, the more I become convinced that words unquestionably play an intricate part in the profound order of the universe. The quote you share reminds me of the many references to words and admonishments against uttering "idle words" in the Christian Bible. In the book of Matthew, Jesus made these scathing remarks to certain sophists:

 

"O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."

 

(My Bible is the King James version, and it's in old English, so I changed bringeth to bring and speaketh to speak, etc for the purposes of this post.)

 

It sure does seem that once words are uttered, they cannot be un-uttered. All else can fade away, but the words remain. Sure, they can be forgotten, but that does not prevent them from being remembered.

 

 

Now, on to your thought-provoking questions ...

 

 

Writer's block certainly happens to me, and it usually happens when I'm troubled or preoccupied. I can't say that it happens because I'm busy; even when I'm busy, I usually can't wait to get some time to write. But I have noticed that when I'm consumed by worries, I can't write, whether I'm busy or have an abundance of time available. When I'm in such a predicament, I try to write, and the usual tools, like prompts, don't help. That's because even if my mind is devoid of ideas, it is nevertheless blocked from processing the ideas provoked by the prompts and from focusing on the activity of writing itself. For me, this is an unpleasant situation to be in.

 

I find that I write best when I'm in some sort of comfort zone. This does not mean I have to be happy when I write -- some of my favorite poems are written when I'm sad -- rather it means my psyche has to be in some realm that's conducive to being creative in order to partake in the activity of writing. I find that I'm most inspired when I'm sad, not depressed (that would be the situation I find myself in when I'm worried, hence, blocked). Thus, melancholy seems to be my "comfort zone." :rolleyes: I even wrote a poem about it once. Here it is:

 

 

Low Light

.....Both we loved the sad/Melancholy of our lives.

.......................................................... James Wright

 

Cold, blue, low light diffused by barren trees

defines me. There were certain, carefree times --

happier days and nights in warmer climes --

before my soul sank into this deep freeze.

Funny you mention Florida: thirty degrees

in centigrade, a closer, hotter sun

but still no peace, no relief for me -- none;

nothing will put my harrowed heart at ease.

 

I never thought to say this, but I miss

the Sunshine State; I sometimes miss the state

my mind was in for such a fleeting while;

but I would be remiss to not confess

my wish, a truth my verse will not negate:

nothing should turn my frown into a smile.

 

 

Please note the last three lines. They help to illustrate my personal relationship with gloom, to which I allude above. :D

 

However, when I am blocked for the reasons stated, I find that reading poetry and books about writing poetry helps. It gives my mind an activity that it can handle in the moment, namely, learning. I also find that reading and commenting on the works of others is an activity with which my mind can deal. It's more like an orderly, scientific task that I can focus on when creative channels themselves are blocked.

 

Thank you for starting this fascinating topic. I did not mean to hijack the thread with my musings about the supernatural nature of words in the universe :), but your topic, along with its apposite quote, became somehow interlaced in my thought process, and I wanted to expound on it.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Hello goldenlangur, Tony :) hi to you too.

Interesting and yes fascinating topic. Writer's block ... For me it is usual thing, and I think is a normal happening. I have it now, and before too. For me nothing helps to unblock that phenomenon

 

This is taken from

 

wikipedia:

 

Writer's block is a phenomenon involving temporary loss of ability to begin or continue writing, usually due to lack of inspiration or creativity

 

 

Sometime when I am busy I can't write but that doesn't mean that I have a writer's block. The block happens to me when I am somehow lost and tired in my mind and body. And most of the time I feel that block so deeply and often could be so productive. For example when we lost our singer Tose Proeski, I was broken and down, in agony. Then my emotions and feelings were so extreme and all of that blocked my mind and my writing. I was feeling that I must put all what I feel on paper, I felt that is coming some poem, bc it was so strong feeling and was making some volcano in my soul and it was killing me because doesn't wanted to come out. And then after maybe 20 days a month maybe, all that block produced a poem.

Then I wrote the poem " Kiparis "

 

And in other cases the sadness is not giving me a blocking, but helps me a lot to write, or happiness too, but less.

 

So for me the writer's block comes from nowhere and from everywhere :rolleyes: Nothing helps me, but not makes me stop to read or to work on some other works. I am not writing much ( as now ) just I am so busy and with problems all around and I am coming just to check fast, but if the writer's block is the case I am fine :) and I keep the block just for my writing ;)

 

So thank you golden for this " provoking " topic - I love it.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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goldenlangur

Hi Tony and Aleksandra,

 

Thank you for taking the trouble to post your own perspectives and experiences here.

 

I've had some problem with the connection at my end but will return with some thoughts.

 

 

With appreciation,

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

for me writer's block just happens and i don't like it. i am going thru a dry spell right now as a matter of fact. i dont like it but it happens. everyone so far has answered this delemia so well i am at a loss for words. sometimes anxeity causes me to not write. i have not slept well recently so i don't think my mind is functioning properly when that happens. i personaly think writer's block when it happens to the writer they wonder if they will ever write again. i have had some intense dreams so i may use them in my writings of poetry but very few people understand them. i think goldenlangur would with his deep philosophy in spiritual understanding but i don't know if anyone else on any of the poetry forums i participate on would understand them. i have two poems in the works and i don't think many people will understand them in general because they deal with the future of my life. one is postive and the other is very dark.

 

write more on this subject later my eyes are starting to bug out. this is a great topic to talk about. goldenlangur.

 

larsen aka victor

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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goldenlangur

Hi Tony,

 

I like how you preface your response with a biblical reference and this certainly has a resonance:

 

For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.[/b]"[/color]

 

(My Bible is the King James version, and it's in old English, so I changed bringeth to bring and speaketh to speak, etc for the purposes of this post.)

 

 

Tony

 

 

The point you make about worry and its role in disrupting creativity is something that many of us would identify with (Aleksandra's and Victor's posts) and yes, being busy with work does indeed sharpen that creative urge - making the whole writing thing a sweet-bitter experience. Your poem captures this high and low very effectively.

 

Again, one can appreciate that writing to prompts or to deadlines, does not work for everyone. Would writing to a form( a sonnet, cinquain, tanka challenge for example) force you to attempt some form of writing? I also wondered if some element of self- censuring plays a part when we cannot write - i.e. - we are not happy with a piece and put it away/delete or rework over several times to a more satisfying state?

 

Your remark about reading reminds me of Basho's words - something to the effect If I do not read the Masters, , my mouth feels funny - quite awfully paraphrased by yours truly :rolleyes:

 

Yes, there's a sense of returning to the womb, when one picks up some of the classics, at a moment of writer's block. Are there any particular poets/writers who do this for you?

 

In this age of the internet, we're indeed blessed with on-line forums where we can participate at the touch of the keyboard and I do agree that reading and reviewing on-line is a life line at such times.

 

Please do not apologize about your ruminations on the "supernatural nature of words in the universe" - your belief embodies, what many feel and you express this eloquently and passionately.

 

Thank you for this great participation and sharing your experiences and thoughts.

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hello Aleksandra,

 

Thank you for including the Wiki definition of "Writer's Block ". It sums up the different aspects of this experience succinctly.

 

You make a universally recognizable observation about how grief and loss (Tose Proeski) can plunge one into an emotional and creative abyss. Your words, "lost and tried in my mind and body" expresse well this existential anguish. At such a time one's beliefs (self) and dreams are shaken and one drops into a fathomless blackness. But how wonderful that for you, the conclusion tothis is marked by an outpouring of your voice and feelings as shown by your poem "Kiparis".

 

I find this correlation you make here quite fascinating:

 

...And in other cases the sadness is not giving me a blocking, but helps me a lot to write, or happiness too, but less.

 

 

You've articulated that indefinable way this malaise takes hold and holds us in its vice:

 

"... writer's block comes from nowhere and from everywhere ..."

 

I wondered when you say, "Nothing helps me", whether it is a matter of passage of time and a moving on from that emotional and existential anguish to another point, when the shift happens?

 

One can appreciate this point by your generous participation in the forum in reviewing your fellow members' work:

 

"...Nothing helps me, but not makes me stop to read or to work on some other works. I am not writing much ( as now ) just I am so busy and with problems all around and I am coming just to check fast, but if the writer's block is the case I am fine :) and I keep the block just for my writing..."

 

Thank you so much for giving this thread some time and thought.

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi Victor,

 

Each one in the forum brings his/her own unique perspective and yours is no less valued:

 

... everyone so far has answered this delemia so well i am at a loss for words. ...

 

These points you make sleep strike a chord:

 

"...anxiety makes it difficult to write for me..

i have not slept well recently so i don't think my mind is functioning properly when that happens."

 

Worries, as Tony and Aleksandra affirm, can sap one's vitality, including the creative one. As someone who has similar difficulties with sleep (anxiety, travel across time zones), I can well sympathize with what you say.

 

Your thoughts about dreams, echo Jung's idea that in dreaming the creative impulse is released and in this state of intense dreaming one comes closest to one's spiritual and creative core. So your idea of including your dreams in your writing, is well-founded. I would urge you to post these works and give us all a chance to see this creative landscape, you inhabit in another time frame.

 

I am very touched and appreciate your immense generosity but I must confess that I have no "deep" "spiritual understanding". In fact, I think if my writing gives a sense of outer calm it is precisely because of the inner upheaval and demons. I say this not out of false modesty, but to claim otherwise, would be deceitful and misleading, on my part.

 

But yes, my friend, I share your idea of dreams shaping and seeping into one's writing. You're a great presence in this forum, Victor. Please have no doubt about how much your participation in discussions, in writing and reviewing, is valued by us all.

 

Thank so much.

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

hi tony, aleksandra and goldenlangur,

 

i wanted to write more this morning but it was dark outside and my eyes wouldn't stay open so i fell back asleep. anyway getting back to the subject of writer's block i think sometimes we lose are imagination and creative thoughts. it is hard to explain why this happens but it does happen to everyone i think. sometimes in life we live but really are just going thru the motions and we need stimuli to write such as an unusual event taking place in your life to disrupt you from your daily routine. that is my opinion and feeling and others may or may not agree with this opinion of mine.

 

also sometimes we are in depressed moods and are sad we are full of creativity and write allot. but sometimes you snap out of depression to quickly and stop writing. im not depressed right now. im in a pretty good mood so i have nothing to write about at the moment because my life is not exciting.

 

sometimes to help me write i read someone else's poem and im inspired to write because of it.

 

okay i given this writer's block some consideration and i really don't like it and wonder how some people can write there whole life with very little noticeable writer's block.

 

i hope people stay in this conversation.

 

and goldenlangur you made my day with your wam comments. my comments i made about you were because of your lifestyle you might have a better understanding of my writings because of that fact. i believe in the deli lamas as being very close to the truth but that is my belief. i believe in jesus and budda. but there have been other great teachers that have walked earth also.

 

write more later.

 

victor

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Again, one can appreciate that writing to prompts or to deadlines, does not work for everyone. Would writing to a form( a sonnet, cinquain, tanka challenge for example) force you to attempt some form of writing? I also wondered if some element of self- censuring plays a part when we cannot write - i.e. - we are not happy with a piece and put it away/delete or rework over several times to a more satisfying state?

 

Yes, there's a sense of returning to the womb, when one picks up some of the classics, at a moment of writer's block. Are there any particular poets/writers who do this for you?

 

In this age of the internet, we're indeed blessed with on-line forums where we can participate at the touch of the keyboard and I do agree that reading and reviewing on-line is a life line at such times.

Hi Golden,

 

Thank you for your kind reply regarding my experiences with writer's block. I wanted to follow up with some additional thoughts.

 

I have been thinking that, for me, the next step in growing as a writer might be to approach writing more like a job. Thus far, it has been one or the other of two scenarios: I have either (a) been compelled to write because of my emotional state (melancholy), or (B ) been unable to write because of my emotional state (worry). Neither scenario is ideal. Writing only when inspired will often yield good results, but the time when one is not inspired (i.e. not writing) is wasted. In the case of the latter scenario, all the time is consumed by something counter productive--worrying--and nothing gets produced.

 

Writing in forms in itself is not the cure for my writer's block. I can study a form and even apply it, but my problem during a block (and even when not blocked) has largely been one of content -- I don't always have something to say. James Wright is my favorite poet, and in the interview with him (found in the link archive), he stated that his problem was having too much to say. When he wrote poems for his collections, his friends and editors often advised him which poems to cut from his manuscripts. (I wish I had that "problem"!) But I will say this much: writing in forms works well for me, because I have to fit what I have to say within certain parameters, and it becomes an activity almost like solving a puzzle.

 

I think if I set aside a certain amount of time each day for writing (which I haven't been doing :rolleyes: ), and if I try to block any counter-productive, negative energy by focusing just on the writing (using the prompts for ideas when my life lacks inspiring drama :blink: ), I might be able to yield something worthwhile on a more regular basis, to write for the sake of writing. Perhaps for me, setting aside time to write and using the prompts to stir the imagination might be the answer to being more productive. My desire is to produce more and to write consistently well.

 

Usually, when I read during a writer's block, I will read unfamiliar poets. I will look closer at books I have bought that have not necessarily been favorites, and I will find good stuff in lots of them. My mind will be more receptive toward different subject matter, and my list of favorite poets will grow. However, the styles and forms I will seek out will still be to my taste and otherwise to my liking.

 

I am moved to ask -- what works for you? Do you set aside a definite time and/or amount of time for writing? I find this statement you made to Victor especially intriguing: "In fact, I think if my writing gives a sense of outer calm it is precisely because of the inner upheaval and demons." Are there sufficient demons to go around, or will you sometimes employ a technique, approach writing like a job, and write for the sake of writing? Do you write mostly at a particular time of day? I am a "night-person" -- my mind works better at night even in the creative realm (I think :rolleyes: ), but I'm wondering if trying a different time of day could be advantageous in keeping in line with the whole "approach writing as a job" strategy?

 

Thank you again for this stimulating, ongoing discussion ...

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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...anyway getting back to the subject of writer's block i think sometimes we lose are imagination and creative thoughts. it is hard to explain why this happens but it does happen to everyone i think. sometimes in life we live but really are just going thru the motions and we need stimuli to write such as an unusual event taking place in your life to disrupt you from your daily routine. that is my opinion and feeling and others may or may not agree with this opinion of mine.

 

also sometimes we are in depressed moods and are sad we are full of creativity and write allot. but sometimes you snap out of depression to quickly and stop writing. im not depressed right now. im in a pretty good mood so i have nothing to write about at the moment because my life is not exciting.

Hi Victor,

 

Outside of my personal issue of worry leading to an inability to write, I think you have significantly described a major source of my own writer's block: ennui. I must overcome this impediment when it takes hold.

 

And I do wholeheartedly agree with golden: you should incorporate your dreamscapes into poetic works. I hope you share them!

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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What a great discussion! Count me in, I can't seem to write anything right now. I think focus has a lot to do with it.

 

Lack of time, anxiety, worry, etc all contribute to the distraction and make it difficult to focus on writing. Writing is a private pleasure, something I do for myself. That is something that can get pushed to the background when there is a lot of activity around me....

 

The word malaise was used above somewhere... WOW a perfect word for what I feel when I sit down to write lately. Other things easily draw my attention away. I feel like every subject I attempt to write about has been done a million times before, I have told all my stories, there is nothing left to tell. I know that is not true, somewhere down deep I know it... but....

 

Then even if I do think of something to write about, I second guess every word and phrase, cliche, poor sonics, where tdo I want to the focus the reader? I write a few lines and critique them to death... Not a good place.

 

I have verse forms still needing research and example poems to write and that really looks overwhelming, like I need to have a few uninterupped hours to wrap my brain around what I have done and where I need to pick it up....Wrong time of the year for that, so many distractions. But it is the verse forms that have pulled me out of the malaise on sooooooo many occasions. The research demands my focus.

 

Do I read when in the malaise???? Of course I read but commenting takes some of the same stuff as writing poems... I don't want to just write, "nice poem" but sometimes that is all I have the time or energy for.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

tinker wrote:

"I don't want to just write, "nice poem" but sometimes that is all I have the time or energy for."

 

very good point tinker/judy! sometimes a nice poem helps me write something much more pleasurable and satisfying lol. im glad you joined the discussion. i agree with everything you had to say. before my injury and i broke my neck i had no time to write poetry. now i have all the time in the world to write. i think writer's block gives the mind a rest unless you have anxiety and worries etc... im working on two poems but feel i might not be ready to post them until i get every detail just right. i will post them though in the next week.

 

write more later

 

victor

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Hello Aelksandra,

 

Thank you for including the Wiki definition of "Writer's Block ". It sums up the different aspects of this experience succinctly.

 

You make a universally recognizable observation about how grief and loss (Tose Proeski) can plunge one into an emotional and creative abyss. Your words, "lost and tired in my mind and body" express well this existential anguish. At such a time one's beliefs (self) and dreams are shaken and one drops into a fathomless blackness. But how wonderful that for you, the conclusion to this is marked by an outpouring of your voice and feelings as shown by your poem "Kiparis".

 

I find this correlation you make here quite fascinating:

 

 

...And in other cases the sadness is not giving me a blocking, but helps me a lot to write, or happiness too, but less.

 

Aleksandra

 

You've articulated that indefinable way this malaise takes hold and holds us in its vice:

 

"... writer's block comes from nowhere and from everywhere ..."

 

I wondered when you say, "Nothing helps me", whether it is a matter of passage of time and a moving on from that emotional and existential anguish to another point, when the shift happens?

 

One can appreciate this point by your generous participation in the forum in reviewing your fellow members' work:

 

"...Nothing helps me, but not makes me stop to read or to work on some other works. I am not writing much ( as now ) just I am so busy and with problems all around and I am coming just to check fast, but if the writer's block is the case I am fine :) and I keep the block just for my writing..."

 

Thank you so much for giving this thread some time and thought.

 

goldenlangur

 

I like the activity on this topic and thanks goldenlangur for starting it.

 

I wondered when you say, "Nothing helps me", whether it is a matter of passage of time and a moving on from that emotional and existential anguish to another point, when the shift happens?

 

nice question my friend :). Just I can't answer properly :) . I can't define that part. For me it's just starting and stopping the writer's block. For example. I have not written lately - nothing so my experience speaks that some poem will come when I don't expect at all. Maybe now while I write this, maybe later when I am gonna lie down in bed to sleep. Happens to me so many times to write in my bed with closed eyes. I am feeling some nervous, I'm changing the sides of the bed, and when I am in between I am starting to write.

 

Once I remember I was like that - sleeping almost, and I felt something in my chests, in my mind, and bc I was used to have next to my bed piece of paper and a pen, I took the pen and I start to write in the dark. And what happened? :rolleyes: :angry: The morning when I wake :D I remember that I wrote something the night before and I wanted to read what I wrote and I saw there was nothing - the pen stopped to write :silent: :lol!: and I lost and I think that those poems what I wrote in those conditions are my best. So that one I lost and there is no repeating the same no chances. And there is interesting fact around that. When I write on that way ( after writer's block ) I even don't know how I write. I am reading the poems the next day and believe me often I even can't believe that I wrote that. Because of that I think that the poems written right after writer's block are the best ( for me ) .

 

I see some of you as Tony said, reading poetry helps you , but for me not works. When I am having that trouble I can read yes, but I can't stay long with a book to read, I said before then I am tired in my mind and body.

 

So what we can get from my writing now :) when the shift happens goldenlangur ? :) I think that for me is like some :idea: lamp, just comes how and when I don't know, I never noticed something special what moved me to write, maybe some tragic happening in my life ... maybe not because that can block me too...

 

Oh I remembered I said somewhere around this board, I am having a candle :) the wax in many colors can help me to involve me in some " magic " world and then I can start productive :) not always.

 

And I must say ( sorry I am taking forever with my writing :rolleyes: ) but long time ago I was much more productive I think, because the inspiration I was getting from everywhere, I was smiling to anything, to the stones around, to the flowers, to the sun ... and I was writing even on the field watching in the sky ,the clouds and everything like was talking to me and telling me what to write, my hand was writing alone... Now, all is different, maybe I have changed as a person.

 

Ah I am done for now :D see you little later with some other thoughts ;)

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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I am a "night-person" -- my mind works better at night even in the creative realm (I think Suspect ), but I'm wondering if trying a different time of day could be advantageous in keeping in line with the whole "approach writing as a job" strategy?

 

Here is me again ( I am so inspired to talk tonight :D )

Tony I know you are my man :D a night person . I write then too. as I said in the other comment.

There is something interesting. My Macedonian poetry - poems written on Macedonian language are 99 % written after midnight, I have on every poem note for the time, BUT my English poetry are little different, I have many of my English poems written in a day time. I don't know how or why , just it is like it is.

But the power of my poetry is still caused by the same. The best of my poems I am not sure how I am writing them :rolleyes: That is a good job, hmmm I should find out why and how that happens...

 

Bye for now :)

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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What a great discussion! Count me in, I can't seem to write anything right now. I think focus has a lot to do with it.

 

Tinker welcome to the group :D

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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also sometimes we are in depressed moods and are sad we are full of creativity and write allot. but sometimes you snap out of depression to quickly and stop writing. im not depressed right now. im in a pretty good mood so i have nothing to write about at the moment because my life is not exciting.

 

Hello Victor I agree with you my friend. I am the same. So not need something special to get some writer's block, and I think is not because of the reason what you noted because of not exciting life. The life can be too much excited but still nothing, not all people who have exciting life are the poets or the best poets

 

okay i given this writer's block some consideration and i really don't like it and wonder how some people can write there whole life with very little noticeable writer's block.

 

I don't think so Vic that those " productive " people have little noticeable writer's block I think that they are handling on some professional way with producing the poetry. The writer's block works for them too, but when they are out from that, simply they can't stop to write. I have spoken with some old poet from here, famous one about this subject and I noticed they are same as me - amateurish poet with the writer's block, only their experience and professionalism helps them and makes them much more present and productive.

BUt yes this can not be true, it is just my thought. And I remember now look at John - MP how many poems he have and how fast he writes his poems. When he was in writer's block he was geting angry on himself, but after , you can't even noticed that sometime he had some writer's block.

 

All is different my friend, so I think we should do some collaboration work and word by word we can get out from this block :D yea that is good idea my friends? :D

 

i hope people stay in this conversation.

 

I hope too Vic :)

 

Thanks for reading

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Writer’s block normally doesn’t mean that I am not inspired or I don’t have much drama in my life to write about – I dunno what that means I have always had enough drama to write about. The “inner demons” won’t let you rest even if your life is running smooth on the outer. Rather I write my best poetry when I am disturbed internally.

 

I am going through one of the worst writer’s block in my poetic life. Its not that I am not writing or that I am not inspired. But rather that’s the reason of my frustration: I am inspired and I am not writing. I have written bundles of pages in the past week. Expounded different philosophies and made counter arguments, written many poems but it seems as if words have boycotted me. They seem as pedant scholars who look down on me for I know too little.

 

However, there are so many reasons for distraction but I think worry is a very strong reason. I think you cannot write when you are mentally fatigued. You feel like you are drained and you won’t write ever again, at least I feel that way. It seems you have told all the stories and if you would even say a word it would start mocking you. If I write something in a block it mocks me for I think its totally untrue and I am lying. I feel dishonest if I do so. Also the feeling of repetition of words, images and themes is sickening.

 

Reading, always, helps me but as I say to my sister writer’s block is like influenza. Once its here it will complete its time. No matter how many antibiotics you take it will complete its circle before its over. The only treatment of flu is to sleep. Take rest. So what I do is I get into bed and take some unfamiliar writer/poet and read and sleep and read and sleep – just like the treatment of flu. Flu is the most horrible disease for me and so is writer’s block! Not that I don’t try to write in such a period. Its just I can’t!

 

Commenting on others works also goes down, just as Tink mentions. But it is time I guess I have to push myself out of this abyss for its taken too long. So my apologies again for this long essay (or whatever this is) for I couldn’t cut it short. Can’t help it.

 

Also, we have some awesome topics and threads on this forum and Gl and Tony must be appreciated for their incitation. Writer’s block as we see from the appreciation and participation on this thread is a phenomenon which strikes a chord with every poet (perhaps every artist) in the world

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goldenlangur

Hi Tony, Aleksandra, Victor, Tink and Summayya,

 

What can I say? What a great discussion going on here! Admittedly I started the thread but without your participation, it would have been meaningless.

 

So thank you so much and I will return with some additional thoughts inspired by your voices.

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

Aleksandra wrote:

 

I don't think so Vic that those " productive " people have little noticeable writer's block I think that they are handling on some professional way with producing the poetry. The writer's block works for them too, but when they are out from that, simply they can't stop to write. I have spoken with some old poet from here, famous one about this subject and I noticed they are same as me - amateurish poet with the writer's block, only their experience and professionalism helps them and makes them much more present and productive.

BUt yes this can not be true, it is just my thought. And I remember now look at John - MP how many poems he have and how fast he writes his poems. When he was in writer's block he was geting angry on himself, but after , you can't even noticed that sometime he had some writer's block.

 

 

hi aleks,

 

i never asked a professional, perhaps i should have worded that part of my conversation more maturely with my thoughts and not spoken presumptuiosly and prematurely about professionals cause i don't know any. so thank you for your insight it is much appreciated dear.

 

vic

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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goldenlangur

Hi again Victor,

 

Truly great to read your additional thoughts on this experience! I was rather taken with your remark here:

 

...i think sometimes we lose are imagination and creative thoughts. it is hard to explain why this happens but it does happen to everyone i think.

victor

 

This made me wonder if "creative work" is so intense and even painful, like birth, that perhaps our imagination puts up a block to protect us and that is why we cannot explain why this happens?

 

 

And yes, as Tony noted, ennui can be induced by the grind of the daily. This is perhaps when we're disembodied from our creative core and we feel no "stimuli to write".

 

You make another vital point - that our lives are not always "exciting". Here, I wonder if it is not so much what is /is not exciting, but how we perceive this? Just a thought, as we all struggle through such arid times, when the creative landscape is not even a mirage!

 

Certainly, Victor - the link with people, does help to make the isolation and desolation of an unproductive time, more bearable and yes, provide us with some inspiration to write.

 

"sometimes to help me write i read someone else's poem and im inspired to write because of it."

 

Your musing here has generated a fascinating response from Aleksandra, which is quite comforting in that we're not alone - even the good and the great suffer from this malaise.

 

 

".. i given this writer's block some consideration and i really don't like it and wonder how some people can write there whole life with very little noticeable writer's block."

 

 

Always, a pleasure, dear friend to give praise, where it is due - to your work, reviews and stimulating participation here. I like this line very much:

 

"... there have been other great teachers that have walked earth also."

 

Yes, I share your stance that Jesus, Buddha and the DL are all different aspects of the fundamental human instinct for the good and I take great comfort that you've expressed this so well here.

 

As you can see the conversation here, with help from you and the others, carries on

 

:D

 

 

Many thanks for giving us much to think and discuss.

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Wow Tony, What thought-provoking ideas and musings you've returned with!

 

 

Your thoughts here go to the very heart:

 

I have been thinking that, for me, the next step in growing as a writer might be to approach writing more like a job. Thus far, it has been one or the other of two scenarios: I have either (a) been compelled to write because of my emotional state (melancholy), or (B) been unable to write because of my emotional state (worry). Neither scenario is ideal. ...

 

Tony

 

I'm reminded of an exchange I had with my father a couple of years ago. He asked me, "what do you call a person who paints glass even if he hasn't painted cathedral windows?

 

"A stained glass artist."

 

"Why don't you call yourself a writer even if you haven't published best sellers?"

 

Your idea of treating writing as a "job" and also devoting regular time for it, as one would for a job, brought back this memory.

 

James Wright must be one in a million with his particular problem of having to "cut" poems from his manuscript! So would you say, that as Tink discusses, your problem of content is that you feel, what you have to say has been said been?

 

 

One can appreciate your point that when the block happens, external factors like prompts may have little impact. But yes, the discipline of a form, certainly works, as you put is so well:

 

"...But I will say this much: writing in forms works well for me, because I have to fit what I have to say within certain parameters, and it becomes an activity almost like solving a puzzle..."

 

There's definitely something to be said for your approach here:

 

"Usually, when I read during a writer's block, I will read unfamiliar poets. I will look closer at books I have bought that have not necessarily been favorites, and I will find good stuff in lots of them. My mind will be more receptive toward different subject matter..."

 

Thank you for asking - I write on the run, if you like - bits here, bits there and the notebooks I try to keep, go missing! So far, it has been rather tawdry, really, my writing effort. Re: the point I made to Victor, the only way I can account for any sense of "spirituality" in my writing is the themes of compassion, good/bad actions or karma, karmic rebirth, preparing for the way through the bardo in life and death, are all inherent in the social-religious background, I come from. I do not set out to make a spiritual effect or point. Thus I'm moved and also surprised by the effect this seems to have on the reader.

 

As for demons, both personal and those I encounter in my work, cannot be exorcised and writing is both a balm and compulsion. I find that highs and lows of my work create a kind of barrier to the creative process. The mind is on the work gear and the creative core is switched off - my very subjective take on this issue. Someone else might have a totally different approach and experience.

 

But I would second your idea of treating writing as a profession and giving it the due consideration and acknowledgment, it requires if one is serious about writing. Yes, writing for the "sake of writing" would be the way forward, I believe. Taking Tink's point of doubts about the viability of a piece of writing and internal censorship - these are other demons I struggle with. I write out of a compulsion that I have dared not name and I have yet to meet someone who says that making a living out of writing, is easy and even realistic.

 

The haiku, tanka and also the prose poem and haibun are the forms towards which I veer. The hours leading up to dawn are the most productive - the quiet creates a tiny space for writing and reading.

 

Thank you very much for your continued participation and for the stimulating issues you've returned with.

 

goldenlangur

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Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi Tink,

 

Great to see you around and thank you for the stimulating thoughts you've posted. You've put your finger on a major issue for anyone aspiring to write:

 

 

... Writing is a private pleasure, something I do for myself. That is something that can get pushed to the background when there is a lot of activity around me....

 

~~Tink

 

 

I wondered if Tony's point about treating writing as a "job" and making the effort to give it regular slots of time, would in some way alleviate the problem you have with "writing" being relegated to the "background", when family and work commitments make demands on your time? I hope I'm not being too nosey, but with your gift of language, critical reading and immense research on the various forms, would these not be enough forces/compulsion/ reason not to put your writing on the back burner in the face of other demands? I confess my question is quite mischievous in a way - in that I hope that your thoughts will point us a way out of this dilemma.

 

Another point you make with admirable candor is how self censorship puts the brakes on creativity:

 

"...I feel like every subject I attempt to write about has been done a million times before, I have told all my stories, there is nothing left to tell. I know that is not true, somewhere down deep I know it... but....

 

Then even if I do think of something to write about, I second guess every word and phrase, cliche, poor sonics, where do I want to the focus the reader? I write a few lines and critique them to death... Not a good place."

 

I also think that you under estimate what you've achieved in setting up an archive for the different forms with 'example poems" by yourself for each of the various forms. An amazing undertaking by any standards!

 

 

I wondered if there's any particular verse form which you find rewarding and stimulating?:

 

" But it is the verse forms that have pulled me out of the malaise on sooooooo many occasions. The research demands my focus."

 

Would you vouch for any particular writers/poets who have helped you at times of a writer's block? :

 

"Do I read when in the malaise???? Of course I read..."

 

 

In the context of this final comment, is there any link with the issue of self censorship and also perhaps a fear of not being able to deliver a high standard of comments, as you give such in-depth readings of your fellow PMOers' work?

 

"... but commenting takes some of the same stuff as writing poems... I don't want to just write, "nice poem" but sometimes that is all I have the time or energy for."

 

I've asked so many questions because your input to this discussion is invaluable.

 

 

Thank you very much.

 

goldenlangur

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Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi again Aleksandra,

 

Your image of a "lamp" and "candle" to symbolize the end of this malaise is beautiful! Your experience here:

 

....Happens to me so many times to write in my bed with closed eyes. I am feeling some nervous, I'm changing the sides of the bed, and when I am in between I am starting to write.

 

Once I remember I was like that - sleeping almost, and I felt something in my chests, in my mind, and bc I was used to have next to my bed piece of paper and a pen, I took the pen and I start to write in the dark. And what happened? :angry: The morning when I wake :D I remember that I wrote something the night before and I wanted to read what I wrote and I saw there was nothing - the pen stopped to write silent lol! and I lost and I think that those poems what I wrote in those conditions are my best. So that one I lost and there is no repeating the same no chances.

 

And there is interesting fact around that. When I write on that way ( after writer's block ) I even don't know how I write. I am reading the poems the next day and believe me often I even can't believe that I wrote that. Because of that I think that the poems written right after writer's block are the best ( for me ) .

 

Aleksandra

 

is most fascinating. It reminds me of my favorite author, John Cowper Powys, who travelled all over America, lecturing on literature and philosophy. He didn't write his major novel till he was well into his 50s. In his dairies, he records how driven by his inner creative demons he scribbled on bits of hotel bills, train tickets, anything that came to hand as he travelled on his lecturing tours. Like you, for Powys, these gems he scribbled, gave him the materials for his masterpieces, Wolf Solent, Weymouth Sands, Glastonbury Romance.

 

Isn't it interesting that for each one it is different?:

 

"I see some of you as Tony said, reading poetry helps you , but for me not works. When I am having that trouble I can read yes, but I can't stay long with a book to read, I said before then I am tired in my mind and body."

 

I do hope that your "lamp" lights up again and that you will share your work once more.

 

 

 

A big thank you for returning with more thoughts and points.

 

 

goldenlangur

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goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi summayya,

 

You've addressed a complex aspect of Writer's Block:

 

...Writer’s block normally doesn’t mean that I am not inspired or I don’t have much drama in my life to write about – "... Its not that I am not writing or that I am not inspired. But rather that’s the reason of my frustration: I am inspired and I am not writing...

 

 

The ideas, images and themes are all there but you're still unable to write - a dilemma which would destroy the soul and the spirit.

 

I don't mean to be intrusive, but would you say that the "inner demons" are in a fundamental way, (not always) linked to the larger social, political anomalies, aberrations and as an individual and a poet, you're affected deeply by this?:

 

"... I have always had enough drama to write about. The “inner demons” won’t let you rest even if your life is running smooth on the outer. Rather I write my best poetry when I am disturbed internally...."

 

You've also highlighted how the internal editor in one can destroy creativity:

 

'I have written bundles of pages in the past week. Expounded different philosophies and made counter arguments, written many poems but it seems as if words have boycotted me. They seem as pedant scholars who look down on me for I know too little.

 

And yes, "worry" can be paralyzing:

 

"However, there are so many reasons for distraction but I think worry is a very strong reason. I think you cannot write when you are mentally fatigued. You feel like you are drained and you won’t write ever again, at least I feel that way. It seems you have told all the stories and if you would even say a word it would start mocking you. If I write something in a block it mocks me for I think its totally untrue and I am lying. I feel dishonest if I do so. Also the feeling of repetition of words, images and themes is sickening...."

 

I like how you liken Writer's Block" to an illness, a "flu", in this instance. You give a vivid image of the way it takes hold and the helplessness one experiences, whilst in its grip. It's interesting that you see this as a time of enforced "rest":

 

"Reading, always, helps me but as I say to my sister writer’s block is like influenza. Once its here it will complete its time. No matter how many antibiotics you take it will complete its circle before its over. The only treatment of flu is to sleep. Take rest."

 

I wondered what poets and writers offered you succour at a time like this?

 

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and ideas on this malaise that we all suffer time and again. Without such considered opinions and thoughts, this thread would be nothing, so if you find that this thread works, do take some credit for your participation too.

 

goldenlangur

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Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Hi Tinker,

 

I feel like every subject I attempt to write about has been done a million times before, I have told all my stories, there is nothing left to tell. I know that is not true, somewhere down deep I know it... but....

 

I understand what you mean. This happens to me, too, when I read world-class poems and the works of foremost poets. For example, when I first read Edgar Bowers' sonnet THE ASTRONOMERS OF MONT BLANC (written circa 1965!) all I could think was, "How can I ever write something this good about anything, much less about the same subject?" But the answer is, other poems just as good have been written by Bowers and by other poets, and I myself can strive to write like that, too. What also helps me, when I start to think that everything which can be done has been done, is thinking about the music that I like: just when I hear a new musical composition and start to ponder how anyone else could possibly come up with something as good, someone else does soon thereafter. So, stay with it, Tinker, and try to think along those lines. It helps me lean toward the positive, when I become disheartened.

 

 

Do I read when in the malaise???? Of course I read but commenting takes some of the same stuff as writing poems... I don't want to just write, "nice poem" but sometimes that is all I have the time or energy for.

 

I understand this, too, but in my case I have to work just as hard on the comments as I do on my poems, whether I'm suffering from a creative block, or not. It simply takes me a long time to write at any time.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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I don't think so Vic that those " productive " people have little noticeable writer's block I think that they are handling on some professional way with producing the poetry. The writer's block works for them too, but when they are out from that, simply they can't stop to write. I have spoken with some old poet from here, famous one about this subject and I noticed they are same as me - amateurish poet with the writer's block, only their experience and professionalism helps them and makes them much more present and productive.

 

 

I agree with this a lot, Alek, and it goes along with my proposed "approach writing as a job" strategy. (And I do think we two night birds should eventually collaborate on some work ...) ;)

 

Tonyy :D

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Hello :)

 

I am going through one of the worst writer’s block in my poetic life. Its not that I am not writing or that I am not inspired. But rather that’s the reason of my frustration: I am inspired and I am not writing. I have written bundles of pages in the past week. Expounded different philosophies and made counter arguments, written many poems but it seems as if words have boycotted me. They seem as pedant scholars who look down on me for I know too little ...

 

The important thing is that you keep writing, Summayya. (I know it's easier said than done, and I don't always follow my own advice, but... :) ) Write in your journal -- the ideas you write there are the raw material from which new poems can eventually materialize. I checked your blog, and it's good that you have been writing there, too. So keep at it; it all counts!

 

Also the feeling of repetition of words, images and themes is sickening.

 

This I understand. Often, I am not able to write, because I am used to writing about the same themes. Sometimes those themes become tired and even hackneyed. Therefore, I am now gearing up my mind for a new approach: treating the task of writing as a job. :) Hence, I must try some subject matter that's different from that which I am used. You told me a long time ago to try some different subject matter, and perhaps doing so is long overdue. That might be the answer to the "repetitive" slump you mention.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Hi again Tinker,

 

I wanted to come back to this:

 

Then even if I do think of something to write about, I second guess every word and phrase, cliche, poor sonics, where tdo I want to the focus the reader? I write a few lines and critique them to death... Not a good place

 

Every line, every stanza, every image, etc. of every poem will not always be "as good" as the next, even within the same poem. Let's take Yeats' "Leda and the Swan," considered by most to be a world-class poem:

 

 

----Leda and the Swan

 

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still

Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed

By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,

He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

 

How can those terrified vague fingers push

The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?

And how can body, laid in that white rush,

But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

 

A shudder in the loins engenders there

The broken wall, the burning roof and tower

And Agamemnon dead.

-------------------------Being so caught up,

So mastered by the brute blood of the air,

Did she put on his knowledge with his power

Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

 

 

I don't like the last two lines as much as I like the rest of the poem! Some would disagree, but I just don't think they are "as good." Nevertheless, it is what it is: a perfect poem. Similarly, I knew when I wrote my poem "Rim" that I didn't like the following lines (in bold) as much as I liked the rest of the poem:

 

 

The grooves in the gray matter had sunk in;

troubling thoughts adhered to the bone rim

of a cage, hidden beneath delicate skin

from uncurious eyes. Oft, in the dim

blush of the winter gloaming came a blast:

a wraith of her, locked in a kiss with him;

but now, the daystar is returning fast

to subjugate -- reveal and burn away --

vexatious apparitions of the past.

Time to defy the high and help allay

the self-inflicted torment -- to maroon

addictions which beget afflictions -- today,

while spring dissolves the saffron afternoon

into the milk of the Full Flower Moon.

 

They seem more lame than the rest of the poem. Nevertheless, absent any incredible visions of how they should be changed, I will keep them. The poem is done for now ... maybe forever. (I'm just using my poem as an example of how I go through the same thing you go through. I'm certainly not comparing my poem to Yeats' poem.) Don't let what Golden referred to as "self-censoring" stop you from writing.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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goldenlangur

Tony you're incredible in your participation here Very Happy

 

I've enjoyed and admired the way you've responded to Tink, Aleksandra and summyya - with sympathy, concern and a good grasp of the larger literary issues.

 

Excellent idea re Yeat's poem and your critical look at your own recent poem, Rim.

 

Hope to catch up as you receive responses to your thoughts.

 

 

 

goldenlangur

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Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Ah, Golden, thank you for a wonderful topic. :D I must leave the place where I am now, so I will return a little later. I still have your detailed reply to address ...

 

See you again soon!

 

Tony :)

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I do hope that your "lamp" lights up again and that you will share your work once more.

 

goldenlangur

Thank you GL for your warm words. I hope so too icon_smile.gif

And yes I love this topic and thanks to you all for stopping here on this station and giving your thoughts about what happens with us when our muses are gone :blink:

 

Thanks GL,

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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I don't think so Vic that those " productive " people have little noticeable writer's block I think that they are handling on some professional way with producing the poetry. The writer's block works for them too, but when they are out from that, simply they can't stop to write. I have spoken with some old poet from here, famous one about this subject and I noticed they are same as me - amateurish poet with the writer's block, only their experience and professionalism helps them and makes them much more present and productive.

I agree with this a lot, Alek, and it goes along with my proposed "approach writing as a job" strategy. (And I do think we two night birds should eventually collaborate on some work ...) icon_wink.gif

 

Tonyy icon_smile.gif

 

Of course Tony. I am saying to you so long for some collaboration, but you are somehow lazy icon_question.gificon_biggrin.png or I'm asking when you are in some " writer's block " ? icon_razz.gif

 

ALek

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

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hi aleks,

 

i never asked a professional, perhaps i should have worded that part of my conversation more maturely with my thoughts and not spoken presumptuiosly and prematurely about professionals cause i don't know any. so thank you for your insight it is much appreciated dear.

 

vic

 

You are always welcome my friend Victor. I have many things to share from my experience with some famous, home and foreign poets what I have met before.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Ah, Golden, thank you for a wonderful topic. icon_biggrin.png I must leave the place where I am now, so I will return a little later. I still have your detailed reply to address ...

 

See you again soon!

 

Tony icon_smile.gif

 

Ah Tony icon_smile.gif you are really so good and your efforts here are amazing. Thank you for your wonderful comments and yes leave that place icon_biggrin.png you sticked there lol.gif move a little icon_biggrin.png . Many hours you are on 522404.gif

 

icon_biggrin.png

 

See ya

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Hello again Goldenlangur -- :D

 

I'm reminded of an exchange I had with my father a couple of years ago. He asked me, "what do you call a person who paints glass even if he hasn't painted cathedral windows?

 

"A stained glass artist."

 

"Why don't you call yourself a writer even if you haven't published best sellers?"

 

This is really great! To supplement that I would add the following: life is too short to not share the poems one writes. Should we merely submit poems to literary periodicals (along with the many thousands of submissions those publications receive and reject), forever waiting for that big break or that publishing that may never come? No, I will opt to have fun: I publish on line every time I share a poem here or on one of the other fine forums that exist for the purpose. We all do.

 

As you have noted, we are fortunate to have the internet where we can quickly share poems and have meaningful discussions like this one. I have a book called A Wild Perfection -- The Selected Letters of James Wright, and it's fascinating to read how Wright and his contemporaries discussed their work -- all using snail mail. Had they had the internet then, they undoubtedly would have availed themselves of its uses.

 

James Wright must be one in a million with his particular problem of having to "cut" poems from his manuscript! So would you say, that as Tink discusses, your problem of content is that you feel, what you have to say has been said been?

 

In the interview, Wright attributes some of his prolificness to his heritage. He states, " ... my chief enemy in poetry is glibness. My family background is partly Irish, and this means many things, but linguistically it means that it is too easy to talk sometimes .... I suffer from glibness .... And that is why I have struggled to strip my poems down." On the other side of the coin, we have Yeats (also Irish) who, according to an article Tinker shared, sometimes worked for days perfecting a mere couple of lines. I'm neither Irish nor glib, but I do take consolation in the fact that it also took Yeats a long time to compose his poems.

 

Another statement from which I derive consolation is a quote by Richard Wilbur, which appears on the back cover of a book I just got, Edgar Bowers' Collected Poems: "Edgar Bowers' Collected Poems is the sort of victory that requires nothing less than a lifetime of writing patiently and well. His sometimes difficult poems consistently make the deeper choices, wait for the strangely right phrase, and reward attention with freshets of meaning." In addition to Wright, I have found another favorite poet in Edgar Bowers, and I will make a topic on him in the Favorite Poets forum soon.

 

A lifetime of writing patiently and well. Just from the few examples above, we can see how there are so many different approaches and techniques. We can learn about the craft and apply what we learn to a certain degree, but we may also be influenced and -- dare I say it? -- limited by some factors beyond our control. And I don't say limitations in a bad way; I'm sure Wright, Yeats, and Bowers each recognized their own limitations, but they continued on to the best of their abilities. They are among the greats, and we can look to them for inspiration in our own literary endeavors.

 

 

As for demons, both personal and those I encounter in my work, cannot be exorcised and writing is both a balm and compulsion. I find that highs and lows of my work create a kind of barrier to the creative process. The mind is on the work gear and the creative core is switched off - my very subjective take on this issue. Someone else might have a totally different approach and experience.

 

This sounds like what I go through -- just substitute work for worry. An external factor blocks creativity.

 

But I would second your idea of treating writing as a profession and giving it the due consideration and acknowledgment, it requires if one is serious about writing. Yes, writing for the "sake of writing" would be the way forward, I believe.

 

...and I have yet to meet someone who says that making a living out of writing, is easy and even realistic.

 

I agree. This is the case with any art. To subsist only from art, one must not be burdened with having to make a living or ... one must have help (from patrons). I recently spoke with a fine artist -- a painter -- who is self-taught and actually "made it" on her own. Her paintings command five figures in various galleries, but I would venture to say, that in the art world, this is the exception and not the norm. Many artists work becomes commercially successful only after the artists themselves die. Either way, I think we artists do it for the love of the art itself. The money would be nice too, of course, but we create the art anyway.

 

The haiku, tanka and also the prose poem and haibun are the forms towards which I veer. The hours leading up to dawn are the most productive - the quiet creates a tiny space for writing and reading.

 

I do enjoy your haikus and especially your haibuns very much. You mention the hours leading up to dawn. Only if you don't mind my asking ... are you an early riser? The hours before dawn work for me, too, but so far that's only if I stayed awake all night. I have not yet tried rising before dawn to write. Perhaps I will try it ...

 

Thank you for everything, always.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Ah, Golden, thank you for a wonderful topic. icon_biggrin.png I must leave the place where I am now, so I will return a little later. I still have your detailed reply to address ...

 

See you again soon!

 

Tony icon_smile.gif

Ah Tony icon_smile.gif you are really so good and your efforts here are amazing ...

See ya

 

Aleksandra

 

No, thank you, Alek! When the spam attacks hurt Poetry Connection (which has since been fixed by the fine poets, some of who are also valuable members here), it was you who started Magnum Opus. I wouldn't have even thought of, or considered, starting a new board. I am eternally grateful for what I have learned from you in all ways, and how you have opened my eyes to many wonderful possibilities in different things.

 

your Tony icon_smile.gif

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Ah, Golden, thank you for a wonderful topic. icon_biggrin.png I must leave the place where I am now, so I will return a little later. I still have your detailed reply to address ...

 

See you again soon!

 

Tony icon_smile.gif

 

Ah Tony icon_smile.gif you are really so good and your efforts here are amazing. Thank you for your wonderful comments and yes leave that place icon_biggrin.png you sticked there lol.gif move a little icon_biggrin.png . Many hours you are on 522404.gif

 

icon_biggrin.png

 

See ya

 

Aleksandra

 

hi aleks, everyone. the emiticons you used made me smile. sorry to change the subject but im laughting hard at how u used them in your last post to tony.

 

btw i wish i knew famous poets. i would love to learn some of there secrets of longevity. maybe you can expound on some of the secrets you learned from them if you have time. i know you have been busy since your mother's ordeal. she is still on my prayer list. i pray for you cause your family is strugglling like most of the world it seems. talk to you later. icon_smile.gif

 

vic

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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goldenlangur

Hi Tony,

 

 

Such an excellent idea to comb one's work critically and I've enjoyed how you've explained the details of how the highlighted lines of your poem, are not satisfactory. If it's not too intrusive, I wondered if you would expand a little more as to why the last lines of Yeats' Leda and the Swan do not work for you?

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

How blessed you're Aleksandra! Most enviable to have met and talked to many famous poets.

 

I have many things to share from my experience with some famous, home and foreign poets what I have met before.

 

Aleksandra

 

Do share your experiences.

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

What fascinating glimpses into the lives and techniques of the great and the good of the literary world, you've given us, Tony!

 

You pose the mother-of- all-questions for an aspiring writer:

 

"...Should we merely submit poems to literary periodicals (along with the many thousands of submissions those publications receive and reject), forever waiting for that big break or that publishing that may never come? "

 

 

I admire your stance and must admit that it did not occur to me that posting on-line in a forum, is a kind of publication!

 

 

"No, I will opt to have fun: I publish every time I share a poem here or on one of the other fine forums that exist for the purpose. We all do. .."

 

 

Another point which struck me is:

 

Another statement from which I derive consolation is a quote by Richard Wilbur, which appears on the back cover of a book I just got, Edgar Bowers' Collected Poems: "Edgar Bowers' Collected Poems is the sort of victory that requires nothing less than a lifetime of writing patiently and well. His sometimes difficult poems consistently make the deeper choices, wait for the strangely right phrase, and reward attention with freshets of meaning..." Tony

 

As I write on the go, without much forethought and no knowledge of the literary forms and techniques, this is quite humbling and an eye-opener. Apart from the discipline of writing regularly, I will need to read on the techniques of poetic and prose forms.

 

How well you express the reality for the artist!:

 

"Many artists work becomes commercially successful only after the artists themselves die. Either way, I think we artists do it for the love of the art itself. The money would be nice too, of course, but we create the art anyway. "

 

Ironically, I'm told in no other time in human history has so much been published and yet....

 

I appreciate very much your encouragement of my haiku and haibun.

 

Not at all, Tony. I invariably wake up at 2 AM and so up to 6 is the tiny slot I get for reading, some meditation and writing, before the hurly-burly of work, family and the world takes over. But there have been times when like you, I've stayed up into the night.

 

 

A great pleasure and honor indeed to exchange thoughts and ideas across time zones and continents

:D :D

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Collaboration!

 

 

Hi Aleksandra,

 

Don't want to hijack the wonderful discussion you're having, but I do like your idea of a collaboration work very much.

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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If it's not too intrusive, I wondered if you would expand a little more as to why the last lines of Yeats' Leda and the Swan do not work for you?

Not intrusive at all, Golden. I think, one of the things is my unfamiliarity with the expression "put on his knowledge," which appears in the penultimate line, but that could simply be from my own ignorance when it comes to mythology.

 

However, it's primarily the sonics, which I don't like in those lines, specifically the anapest(s) in the last line:

 

Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

beFORE/the inDIFF/'rentBEAK/could LET/her DROP/

 

iamb/anapest/iamb/iamb/iamb/

 

I read "indifferent" as in-DIFF'-rent (3 syllables), but even if one were to read it as a four-syllable word (in-DIFF-e-rent), it would just change the third foot so that it is also an anapest. I think I would like the last line better if it were all iambs. For example:

 

Before the hungry beak could let her drop?

beFORE/the HUNG/ry BEAK/could LET/her DROP/

 

Okay, so hungry is stupid. icon_lol.gif But substitute any other more appropriate two-syllable word, and the line would be more to my liking.

 

In a nutshell: I stumble over the last line(s). The experts could merely disagree, or (more likely) I could have no idea what I'm talking about. icon_lol.gif

 

Tony

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I don't mean to be intrusive, but would you say that the "inner demons" are in a fundamental way, (not always) linked to the larger social, political anomalies, aberrations and as an individual and a poet, you're affected deeply by this?:

 

"... I have always had enough drama to write about. The “inner demons” won’t let you rest even if your life is running smooth on the outer. Rather I write my best poetry when I am disturbed internally...."

 

Of course gl. Though there are personal demons that haunt me (I can talk only about myself) yet we all are part of Nature and our surroundings effect us in universal, geographical, social, political and humanistic ways.

 

I wondered what poets and writers offered you succor at a time like this?

Well I normally go for writers I have not read before for my senses get sharpened at such a time and I feel more receptive to different ideas and perspectives. I generally dig into more local stuff. We have awesome literature in Urdu and Panjabi. Persian literature is brilliant (read some translations – I do understand some of the original but not much) and we have literature in other languages too but I can’t read those languages. It really helps me understand the diversity of art. To be honest the Sufi literature really helps me and I feel inspired, almost electrified. There can be nothing that can match its beauty for me. I have on a number of times said that though I read any amount of literature there can be no truth and beauty like that of Meer, Ghalib, Bulay shah, Sultan Bahu’s Kalam and Waris Shah’s Heer and such great names and works.

 

 

This I understand. Often, I am not able to write, because I am used to writing about the same themes. Sometimes those themes become tired and even hackneyed . Therefore, I am now gearing up my mind for a new approach: treating the task of writing as a job. Hence, I must try some subject matter that's different from that which I am used. You told me a long time ago to try some different subject matter, and perhaps doing so is long overdue. That might be the answer to the "repetitive" slump you mention.

I was talking about myself while mentioning the repetition of images and themes icon_redface.gif . I think you write quite well. It’s always a pleasure to read you. We have talked about taking writing as a job. And you know I dislike the idea. Perhaps the word job is hard for me to chew. As I have told you before I have always taken writing as a sacred thing. A peculiar way of revelation. I have discovered so much during the process of writing. But I think I get what you mean here. But I would prefer to put the same idea as a ritual that you have to perform daily like prayer. icon_biggrin.png It is, indeed, constant practice and concentration that can make you master a skill.

 

I am reading Faust by Johan W. Von Goethe and in it Mephistopheles says to a hopeless Faust who wants to know everything that “art is long, and life is short” and so he must better go and hire a poet who can let his imagination go wild and would be able to provide before one can know it “every noble quality to your liking”. I really enjoyed the debate between Mephistopheles and Faust. Mephistopheles goes on to say that he would like to meet such a gentleman (meaning a poet) that he would call him “Mr. Universe” and raise his hat to him.

 

I would like to share something from the same play that I think is related to this thread. Tinks, gl’s tony’s thoughts on self censoring rang Faust’s discussion with the Wagner in my ears, who knocks at Faust’s door at night for he has heard some voices. He moves on to say that those voices sounded like a tragedy in Greek. He then says that he would like to learn that art (namely tragedy) by choice. He thinks that one should know how to speak well. He furthers exclaims that people often say that the parson should learn to speak from the actor. On which Faust remarks that if parson is only to act then he should, commenting that nowadays it is normally what parsons are doing. Faust says something here that hit my heart:

 

“If you don’t feel, your words won’t inspire;

Unless deep within you speak sincere,

And with a charismatic fire

Compel the hearts of all you hear.

Oh, you can sit there glueing bits together

Or mixing cold leftovers in a stew

Blowing at the ashes, wondering whether

There’s any fire left to warm your brew.

Yes – fools and children you’ll impress —

If that is really what you want to do;

But you will never know another’s heart, unless

You are prepared to give yours too.”

 

This is something that one way or the other we all mentioned in our own ways. We cannot get the feeling of the words and think our works become a stew prepared by leftovers.

 

 

I'm reminded of an exchange I had with my father a couple of years ago. He asked me, "what do you call a person who paints glass even if he hasn't painted cathedral windows?

 

"A stained glass artist."

 

"Why don't you call yourself a writer even if you haven't published best sellers?"

 

I have always asked this question from my class fellows when we got into such a discussion: where can we get a license for being a poet or artist? It’s not about being published or acclaimed. I think we have so many artists who are not even known to the world. For instance, an old man who lives in a small room in an unknown village, making one craved brass pot in one year, keeping alive the art his ancestry had lived for or some Sakina Bibi whose hands are dissolving into making earthenware behind her potter’s wheel all her life.

 

Tony now I can see how this malaise bothers you. You are the most active member on this thread. Keep ‘em coming tony! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

 

Great goings on this thread everyone!

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Summayya,

 

First let me stress that I can't believe how good your prose is. Your reply is most eloquently written.

 

Likewise, the Goethe passage you have shared is so inspiring, and I have read it here for the first time. icon_redface.gif Then again, I have always said you are more literate than I am. icon_smile.gif

 

We have talked about taking writing as a job. And you know I dislike the idea. Perhaps the word job is hard for me to chew. As I have told you before I have always taken writing as a sacred thing. A peculiar way of revelation. I have discovered so much during the process of writing. But I think I get what you mean here. But I would prefer to put the same idea as a ritual that you have to perform daily like prayer. icon_biggrin.png It is, indeed, constant practice and concentration that can make you master a skill.

 

I really like how you refer to the act of writing on a regular basis as a ritual; it has a better connotation than "job." Although, I like "job," too, because some people's jobs are quite lucrative. icon_lol.gif

 

 

Why don't you call yourself a writer even if you haven't published best sellers?"

 

I have always asked this question from my class fellows when we got into such a discussion: where can we get a license for being a poet or artist? It’s not about being published or acclaimed. I think we have so many artists who are not even known to the world. For instance, an old man who lives in a small room in an unknown village, making one craved brass pot in one year, keeping alive the art his ancestry had lived for or some Sakina Bibi whose hands are dissolving into making earthenware behind her potter’s wheel all her life.

 

 

 

Well, I don't like licenses, because they are a regulatory scheme, courtesy of the government, but I understand your use of the word to mean "credentials." Some artists have formal training in what the various cultures have deemed to be good art. Then there is the realm of OUTSIDER ART and NAIVE ART, with people like HENRY DARGER, a janitor who, according to Wikipedia, " ... produced 15,000 pages of text and hundreds of large scale illustrations, including maps, collaged photos and watercolors that depict his child heroes 'the Vivian Girls' in the midst of battle scenes that combine imagery of the US Civil War with fanciful monsters." The manuscript was found in his apartment after his death, but I don't know whether any of it is considered good.

 

Most of us probably fall somewhere in between. I myself have no formal training, but I am striving to learn about poetry from mainstream resources. If I succeed, I will be self-taught. icon_smile.gif But even in the case of outsider art and naive art, it would seem that the culture still collectively decides if the art is good. The nice thing is that it's all subjective, and we are all still individuals. We can decide for ourselves whether we like any art.

 

And thank you to you, Summayya, also, and to everyone else who participates at PMO.

 

Tony icon_smile.gif

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goldenlangur

Hi Tony,

 

Many thanks for showing how the sonority in this poem comes across for you:

Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

beFORE/the inDIFF/'rentBEAK/could LET/her DROP/

 

iamb/anapest/iamb/iamb/iamb/

 

I read "indifferent" as in-DIFF'-rent (3 syllables), but even if one were to read it as a four-syllable word (in-DIFF-e-rent), it would just change the third foot so that it is also an anapest. I think I would like the last line better if it were all iambs. For example:

 

Before the hungry beak could let her drop?

beFORE/the HUNG/ry BEAK/could LET/her DROP/

 

Tony

 

I must confess ignorance of anapest and iamb techniques and find it fascinating that in my inexperienced ear I read in-Diff-e-rent with an extended sound suggesting a "drooping" after his satiation and therefore "indifferent" seems appropriate. But I draw my conclusion on the mythical allusions in Yeats' poem, rather than from any idea of the techniques of writing poems. Thus, the line you've referred to, I take as meaning that when Zeus raped/seduced Leda, did she imbibe his divine powers and intelligence and as an extended metaphor, Yeats explores the art/experience of creativity/writing/poetry - when a poet is possessed by the creative energy/Muse how much of it is conscious and how much beyond one's consciousness/control?

 

I'm very grateful that you opened up the nuances of the various poetical techniques and if you find my response long winded and off the mark, I apologize. But your generosity in sharing your knowledge is much, much appreciated.

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi summayya,

 

What a treasure trove of Urdu and Panjabi poets and writers you've listed! Meer and Ghalib are certainly familiar but Bulay Shah and Waris Shah are poets I've yet to discover. Your account makes one realize the immensity of the literary heritage across the globe. How wonderful that you are moved and inspired by the Sufi greats!

 

Taking it on from this your idea of "writing" being "sacred" makes perfect sense and yes, a "ritual" aspect, underlining both a daily/regular making space and time for writing as well as celebrating it's divine spirit/ Muse, would indeed be most appropriate.

 

But beyond this private and personal appreciation/devotion to/passion of writing, I wondered and Tony explored the idea and the need to make it more sustained and viable and also the possibility that perhaps an aspiring writer/artist should be able to make a living out of the one gift or talent one has. It is not so much critical acclaim but a wider acceptance and viability of writing as a profession as any other. But as you show, there are indeed many craftsmen, masters in their art, who beaver away in obscurity and keep alive their heritage.

 

Again going back to your notion of the sacredness of "writing", I find it most interesting that you've been moved by Goethe, the German Romanticist, despite his avowal that he was a Classicist. Your narration of the exchange between Mephistopheles and Faust, captures well the pushing of boundaries of not just knowledge, which Faust hungered after, but the very human condition. In the end Goethe's Faust is redeemed and Mephistopheles's role as the "devil's advocate" remains just that, whereas Marlowe's Dr Faustus pays with his life. You're right, knowledge ( creativity) cannot be had to order and there may always be a price to pay. Goethe's Faust is pulled back from the brink, but what hope for the ordinary writer?

 

Perhaps I've gone off the mark here. But your rich and stimulating response took me there ...however off the track, I may have wandered!

 

I shall risk the ridicule of repetition and say again how your well thought out and enriching responses have given us much to think and hopefully we will discover the magic and genius of the Urdu and Panjabi poets, you've referred to in your discussion.

 

 

With grateful thanks,

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Aleksandra
No, thank you, Alek! When the spam attacks hurt Poetry Connection (which has since been fixed by the fine poets, some of who are also valuable members here), it was you who started Magnum Opus. I wouldn't have even thought of, or considered, starting a new board. I am eternally grateful for what I have learned from you in all ways, and how you have opened my eyes to many wonderful possibilities in different things.

 

your Tony icon_smile.gif

 

Thanks Tony for your warm words.I am so happy if I had/have what to offer to someone and that one to learn something from me too. icon_redface.gif

My thoughts for you are the same.

Your words makes me smile ( not laugh icon_biggrin.pngicon_wink.gif )

343271.gif

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Aleksandra
hi aleks, everyone. the emiticons you used made me smile. sorry to change the subject but im laughting hard at how u used them in your last post to tony.

 

btw i wish i knew famous poets. i would love to learn some of there secrets of longevity. maybe you can expound on some of the secrets you learned from them if you have time. i know you have been busy since your mother's ordeal. she is still on my prayer list. i pray for you cause your family is strugglling like most of the world it seems. talk to you later. icon_smile.gif

 

vic

 

Victor,my dear friend. Thank you so much for your prayers and wishes. Of course I can share a lot's of things and already I am sharing icon_razz.gif I shared something on your new topic - WOW here in General forum. That topic and fact shows that you actually not a lot in a writer's block icon_smile.gif

 

take care my friend.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Aleksandra
I admire your stance and must admit that it did not occur to me that posting on-line in a forum, is a kind of publication!

 

"No, I will opt to have fun: I publish every time I share a poem here or on one of the other fine forums that exist for the purpose. We all do. .."

***

How well you express the reality for the artist!:

 

"Many artists work becomes commercially successful only after the artists themselves die. Either way, I think we artists do it for the love of the art itself. The money would be nice too, of course, but we create the art anyway. "

 

Ironically, I'm told in no other time in human history has so much been published and yet....

 

I appreciate very much your encouragement of my haiku and haibun.

 

 

 

A great pleasure and honor indeed to exchange thoughts and ideas across time zones and continents

icon_biggrin.pngicon_biggrin.png

 

 

goldenlangur

 

Wonderful way for to express yourself GL. I agree with that part with Tony and you , that we are publishing our poetry on boards in this online world, even more than just poetry.

 

I like the part when you say:

 

Not at all, Tony. I invariably wake up at 2 AM and so up to 6 is the tiny slot I get for reading, some meditation and writing, before the hurly-burly of work, family and the world takes over. But there have been times when like you, I've stayed up into the night.

 

Of course thats why we are called: poets and we know how to be not usual , sometimes to dream with opened eyes etc. It's not a secret that a lot of artists and poets also, have Bohemianism,so that shows something right?

 

I love this topic icon_smile.gif

 

ALeksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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