Poets don’t write in a vacuum 

Poets don’t live in a vacuum.

Poetry is not written in a vacuum.

There is always a context, a social context, and always a biography.

I’ve been thinking about this in the context of this blog. Here I publish some of my poetry.

I started sharing some poems here in 2006.

Then the poems were put in a context.  They were displayed in a context because, at the same time, I wrote about my experience of coming back to Ireland from the UK.  I wrote blog-posts about what it was like to have an infant daughter.  I expressed my take on several political issues.

The poems were never displayed in a vacuum.

It’s bothered me now.  Since I relaunched “From Bath to Cork with baby Grace”  [in its second form] the poems have been published without any context.

There’s no writing here about big social issues. I don’t write about my family, nor about housework, golf, podcasting, social media, nor my paid work.

You meet the poems as you would meet them in a poetry book.

And I don’t think this good enough.

I think readers are very interested in the context of a poem – as reflected in the other things the poet is doing in her or his life – how the poet sees things, how the poet reports on what is noticed.

I think readers of poetry – like everybody else-  are more & more curious about what goes on behind the scenes – in the behaviour, mind, emotions and imaginations of writers.

Also I may be enriched by writing about the “world”. I use that world to symbolise the Universe – as I’m capable or motivated to communicate about it.  Even communicate with myself about it.

So I’ve made a decision.   [I’m going to sleep on it.]

I’m going to add prose on this blog.

I’m going to write freely on any topic under the sun that interests me on the particular day I sit down to write.  They may be disconnected sentences. Pieces may be highly structured.  There might be a short story – even a vignette. Probably not a novella.

I may rant.

But above all, it will be me. It’ll be my take on something that’s much bigger than me.

[Reader’s can skip all that prose, or quasi- poetic stuff, if they’re not interested.]

The poems will be obvious. It’ll mean there’ll be more stuff here than before.

It’ll mean I can also put up photographs with very little commentary.  Many people are visual – rather than text lovers. The visual imagination  – or the imaginations of visual people –  is every bit as valuable as the imaginations of those who approach the world with preference for sound or text.

There’s a way in which it’ll do me good to write prose. There’s a possibility it’ll help me feel some issues I write about are vital enough to be encapsulated & addressed in poetry.

I’m going to sleep on this now.

For me, this is a very big issue.  Perhaps I’m I’m going to break & remake the character of this blog.

But it feels like the right thing to do.

However, you never know what a good sleep can do to a right thing.

2 thoughts on “Poets don’t write in a vacuum 

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