Following a conversation with my friend the other night, I’ve been reminded once again of how hard it is for some people to write simply. My friend was talking about having difficulty sticking to one topic or idea in his poetry and making that idea clear. Myself, I have difficulty writing about concrete things. My writing mostly contains ideas, thoughts, and situations rather than scenes and objects with a lot of imagery. While I told my freind that he shouldn’t try and control the direction that his words want to take, we both agreed that it is truly a skill to be able to have some sort of footing in terms of subejct and carry it through til the end.
Was that clear ? Too abstract? Okay let me try again.
I’ll paraphrase what someone spoke to my friend: what’s the point in writing, if people don’t understand?
In some sense, I can appreciate having to use a little imagination when reading or listening to a poem. Nonetheless, I don’t enjoy being confused. There’s a difference between work being mysterious and intriguing and just being confusing. As well, I find it more acceptable to have some mystery in poetry meant for the eyes as opposed to for the ears. What I mean is that it’s not so bad to want to read a poem over to find clues about what the author is really saying, or to find the meaning in a line that you didn’t quite notice the first time. But in spoken word, chaley, there’s no time for all that deep analysis. Not to the same extent. Through that medium you’re trying to either entertain, educate or just share something with people. That’s what I’d like to do, so would my friend and I know this is the goal of many others as well.
I’m working on a piece right now that’s descriptive, and that’s about one topic and I hope it won’t be too abstract.
So to those of us who are deeper than McCain’s Deep Dish, metaphor-bathing-in, seven-concepts-in-one-poem poets, here’s to coming out of the clouds and back to earth if only for a little while. Here’s to staying focused on an identifiable topic, throwing in some imagery and writing a poem that’s simple and clear so that people will understand what we’re trying to say.