Sunday, 22 June 2008

Process or Product

Is it the act of writing itself that is the most important thing or is it the finished poem - the product? Or is it perhaps the editing process? The moving through stages, the paring down and stripping away of cliches and superfluous words until only the bare bones are left: the essence, the distilled meaning - undilluted, like an injection of pure heroin into a vein. When you read a great poem it can lift you to a place of pure emotion, a connection with something bigger and altogether more wondrous than the reality of the here and now. Although sometimes the poem might actually be about this reality but might resonate with you (the reader) so sharply that you almost shout aloud "yes, that's so right" or "I feel just the same way."

For me it is hard for me to say which element of the writing process is the most important or whether they are equal. But I do love the paring down and my aim is to make poems that are not overly wordy or pretentious but that take joy in the use of words and language and hopefully create an experience that the reader can relate to in some way.

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