Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Note to Self Apropos of Rejection and Acceptance of One's Work

From our current U.S. Poet Laureate, Donald Hall:

"Though we may work for potential love or fame, applause for our old work is nothing if we are not making new poems."

I found this in "Writing Poems," an essay published in an out-of-print gem called Creativity and the Writing Process, edited by Olivia Bertagnolli and Jeff Rackham. It was required by my undergraduate Creative Writing prof, Bob Flanagan, and speaks to me now more than ever.

I found the above passage underlined, and it's extremely apt for me today (I will not say why precisely, Dear Reader).

Hall goes on to say:

"When we are not in the midst of working, applause is almost a curse; it is a reminder that we are no longer the person who did the old work... the pleasure of writing the poetry is one-fiftieth in the praise, and the rest in the act of making a metaphor."

It is time to do the work: begin now, little by little throughout these bumpy holidaze, and focus more and more, create more space in the new year for the work. The work, the work, the work.