Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Make it new

Attended a really great open mic event tonight (at Urban Spirit coffeeshop, on Long Street, for any Columbus people reading - it's absolutely worth checking out! More slam-oriented than the Poetry Forum, but very supportive of all different voices, and filled with talent!) And I was noticing that a lot of poems dealt with similar themes and/or sounded similar to other poems I've heard or read before, so I was just thinking about how to make things new, and how hard that is. The easiest things to say are the ones that have already been said, but are they the only ones?

Is there an end of newness, a limit to the number of new things a poet can say, a finite number of new ways to say them? Is it like a relationship, where it loses the excitement after awhile? Or is there a way to keep the spark going, to make a commitment, to marry the work. I, Emily Anderson, take you, poetry, to be my partner….. I feel a bit like that’s the commitment I’m making by going into an MFA program; I’m saying “yes, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is the career I want to have. For richer and for poorer…” (mostly poorer – poets, even with university jobs, aren’t known to be wealthy). That’s scary, that commitment. And we all know I don’t do well with commitment. But maybe I can change. Maybe I'm ready.

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