Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

If you work very hard

Mark Doty, in here--

I think we all struggle with what it means to persist in a life of making art. The thing that you cannot do, the thing you are not allowed to do, is to stay the same. If you continue to write in just the same way, producing the poem that basically replicates the same structure, behaves in the same way, uses the same kind of speech patterns, what happens is that you produce replicas of your previous work to gradually diminishing yields, less feeling, less intensity, less discovery. In some ways that's one of my biggest fears and so I have pushed myself to change, to reach for other kinds of models and other kinds of practices of speech and of song, on the theory that people really don't change very much. If you work very hard, maybe you can change a little. Much about us remains the same, our obsessions and the essential music that we hear behind the poem. That tends to be a constant in a lifetime and if you look back at your early poems you can often see evidence of that there; you just didn't know what to do with it, you didn't recognize it at the time but voice is always. 

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