Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hello darling, ten to six, expectant stillness in the air, humid gray in advance of a possible storm, and what will be - if it doesn't fall all at once & immediately run off into streets and creeks, not having a chance to soak into the ground - welcome rain. I'm back, hours ago now, from a poetry workshop this morning, fantastic, taught by an area poet (that is, he lives in the area; he has a wider reach than local). I'm very glad I attended. There were 15-20 participants, the vast majority women, which made me feel as though I was back, somehow, at a seminar at my women's college alma mater. There we all were, poised with our notebooks & pens, one woman sporting a Harvard drive cup. (The seminar took place in a library near the MA border, so there were a number of Berkshire residents, as well as New York.) He's a very lively, engaging, wise, unpretentious instructor for this sort of seminar. What I greatly appreciated, for my own purposes, was gaining a renewed, or more formal appreciation for poetry, or for the crafting of it. Which is, perhaps, a funny thing for me to say, considering that I was an English major. But the academic approach in my course of study way back then was highly analytical -- taking a poem or other piece of writing and, without reference even to the poet or author's biography -- simply analyzing the text -- dissecting it, in order to create this (to my mind) secondary work, a piece, however thoughtful & even fanciful, of literary criticism. I was quite good at it, back then, though I have lost all interest in pursuing such an approach anymore, in my own writing.

So I appreciated today, so much, being led through a stepped series of writing exercises, each totally doable, "non-scary," and each one building cumulatively upon its predecessor so that we were as it were creating raw materials for our potential poems, and being given the tools too to start mixing them together. It was quite marvelous, and I took notes, and of course have the products, or some "raw dough" from these poetic exercises -- that also, were very very different in nature from what I do every evening, which is, essentially, to sit down & start typing. No, the crafting of a poem is a different enterprise (possibly the wrong word) altogether -- and do you know, I look forward to reviewing my notes, and a meaty handout, compilation of all sorts of inspiring quotes and poetic exemplars, for me to, quite possibly, try my hand, at some different form of writing -- or not so much form, as "way in."

Besides that I had a bit of a lovers' quarrel with someone I haven't even yet met. The misunderstanding -- I think it really was no more than that -- has blown over. And I look forward to meeting him, because at this point, his having opened my eyes to something I knew nothing about -- well, there is no going back for me, now.

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