Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Poetic 4

I didn't really enjoy writing this poem. I couldn't play with the format as much as I wanted to and I found myself simply imitating Joe Brainard's style in the earlier drafts. I didn't want to write about cutesy yet bland things I grew up with that didn't mean much to me, and yet I also didn't want to really talk about something as personal and complicated as my past in such a straightforward, factual way. It seemed a little pretentious to take on this persona when talking about my own life, and it wasn't something I was comfortable with. It made my life seem like a Chicken Soup for the Soul story without the happy ending or something. I liked Brainard's poem, but I found it hard to make my own out of this format, and I ended up going over 300 words, another boundary I found hard to compromise with. I kind of got depressed by this exercise. This is not because I don't enjoy remembering the past or talking about it; on the contrary, I enjoy the nature of nostalgia and have been fascinated by its effect on poetry for a long time. I definitely have written about this kind of stuff before. I also didn't have a hard time coming up with memories. I have a pretty extensive and precise memory of my life, to the point where I've been told it's unusual, and I have one million details stored from which to draw. My problem was rather adhering to the style and making something I felt was profound to me, without feeling strange about it. In the end, I don't think my poem came out badly, but I do feel a little weird and uncomfortable about it. Still, as mentioned before, I didn't think the solution was listing the names of all my pets or talking about what kind of music I liked when I was 12. Maybe this is the kind of poem to start with as an exercise to write another poem.

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