Friday, December 2, 2011

The Poet's Dilemma

   You have heard of poetic license.  I don't use it to alter the facts.  But when I write a poem, I write my perception of the facts.  I know that my perception may deceive me, but I don't let that trouble me. When I write about events in other people's lives, I may say things that aren't quite so. I might say someone feels such and such, when the fact is, they don't.  That's not the dilemma.

   I consider myself to have poetic licence to write my poems in the first person, even when the events or feelings described in them are not my own.  I don't write fiction. I write what I perceive another person may be feeling. And for effect, especially in poems that deal with deeper emotions, I put the poem in first person and so bring the feelings closer to home.

   It's not that I never use third person, but a glance through my poems reveals that most of them are written in the first person. Many of them, especially my spiritual poems, are the reflection of my own feelings and experiences ~ but not all, and not necessarily from the time that they were written. This then is the dilemma. 

   I have sometimes written a poem for someone else's benefit, but written it as if I myself were going through the trial.  Thus, I have caused some who love me to be concerned and to wonder at me. Too much disclaimer won't do. It is only through knowing the depths of my own heart that I am able to speculate what may be transpiring in someone else's. Poetry is an intimate art, and it isn't possible to write it without exposing some of my heart. Here also is where its usefulness lies. What comes from the heart speaks to the heart.

I want my poetry to speak. And I want to share it with you.  But I don't want you to worry about me ~ especially if I write about struggles you wouldn't expect me to have.

1 comment:

  1. This poem has music, written by my talented son-in-law, Douglas Caudill.