The Poem that I Hated

got a good review. That is, comments were made during workshop that led me to believe that I did something right.

The unbelievable part of my graduate-level educational experience so far is that I seem to be on top of the whole crazy scene. My poems apparently come across as intelligent and well-crafted. The ideas and suggestions I intend to get across using some various words actually come through without being too overly explicit. And somehow, people always manage to dig up a little something extra that I didn’t even know was there, but fits, which makes me sound smart.

All of this is probably just the bullshit machine that switches on when a bunch of artists gather in a room with a blackboard, so I can’t get too confident or comfortable, you know. But sometimes I almost start to think these people, even sometimes me, actually do know something of which they speak.

Of course, I’ve always been adept at operating the bullshit machine, myself. So take it how you will.

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2 thoughts on “The Poem that I Hated

  1. Stu says:

    As someone who went through a graduate-level creative writing program, let me say I think you’re being modest by chalking those complements up to being “probably just the bullshit machine”.

    Over the course of one year, the three other playwrights and I could get very perfunctory in our criticism, sinking to repitious quibbles and marginal encouragements that served as little more than window dressings. Now maybe that’s because we were all constantly fighting for a chance to be put on the main stage in the fall, but the fact that you’re receiving good notes on your poems…encouraging, detailed critiques that help you recognize your own talent as well as the areas you need improvement…I say that’s the sign of a good writer who’s inspired those around her to participate in the discussion of her poetry, not because they have to, but because they want to.

    You should be very proud; I’d love to read a few sometime.

  2. Sara says:

    My head knows all of what you just said. But sometimes I feel like I’m faking intelligence, which I know is not really true, but I feel like it sometimes, and I think to myself, “If I’m faking it, what if everyone else is, too?” Or something along those lines.

    Sometimes, I feel just awesome about my writing, and I might write posts like, “I am awesome! Best ever! I totally rule!” But it’s the angst we have over struggling with our chosen crafts that make us strive to be better, since we know we are so far from perfect. We’ll aim for that perfection and fear it at the same time. It’s a vicious cycle.

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