Friday, July 15, 2005

What's messing with my head:

For the past, oh, couple of weeks or so (ever since the you-know-what in you-know-where-town that everyone is probably sick of hearing about by now) I've been in the weirdest place, mentally: at the same time as self-confident and as filled with self-doubt as I have ever been in my life.

Which leads to such odd juxtapositions as being head-over-heels in love with my own newest poems, and at the exact same moment wondering whether I have enough talent that I should even dare set pen to paper, much less toy with the idea of going into an mfa program or god forbid trying to get a (sssshhhhhhh) book published someday.

I have no idea what this is about.

(Although it seems to be a place from which I can get some work done, so I shouldn't complain.)


Trista said...

Anne: I've been a lurker for a while, thought with this last post of yours that I just had to comment. Though I don't really have any great wisdom to impart, or even any pithy comments to share. I just wanted to sympathize with your current state of mind. As I was finishing up my mfa thesis I think I felt very similarly: absolutely obsessed with my poetry -- forcing it upon innocent bystanders, reading it to myself in strange places, waking up with lines of it running through my head -- and yet, and yet, was I really so blindly optimistic to call this a thesis? a book? something that should represent the pinnacle of two year's worth of creative growth? did other people think it as good as I did? did I really think it was good? or did I think it hopelessly derivitive and simple?

You know, to this day I'm still not sure, but I keep working on it (even though I've already defended it), and that uncertainty pushes to keep me on my toes.

Oh dear, that sounds frightfully close to an attempt to impart salty wisdom. Forgive me.

jenni said...

one things for sure, if you stop writing, you'll never know if you got it or not! ( i think you got it, but that's just my 2 cents)

Radish King said...

I feel this way all the time. Let's face it, poety is impossible. And it's never going to get easier. All we can do is flail about inside it. Sometimes it feels like drowning. Sometimes it feels like flying.

Anne said...

Trista: So glad you "de-lurked"! It does sound like you were in a very similar place with your thesis -- I wonder if there's something about a watershed experience like this that engenders these bizarre mixed feelings. Hmmmm. I like your blog, by the way, what there is of it so far. :)

Jenni: Oh, I'm not ever going to stop -- never fear. Well, I guess I can't say "not ever," but I don't see it happening anytime soon. I'll just obsess about it in weirder and weirder ways. ;)

Rebecca: Poetry is impossible -- why do I find this comforting instead of terrifying? But yes, I think that's it exactly. It's impossible, and it's so big we can't ever completely get it -- while at the same time it's utterly insignificant, really. Maybe I'm doing the local equivalent of finding religion in the midst of midlife crisis. *grin*

Trista said...

Yes, I'm a baby blogger. And congratulations. I'm sure you're the first to have seen it. right now it's keeping me up. But hopefully someday soon it will sleep through the night...