Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Late for bad poetry again

I'm overdue for a poetry party (Christine at Abbey of the Arts posted one Monday) but I can't get to Christine's site today. So instead for today I'll write about writing bad poetry.
I've read my own bad poetry. I know my poems are not good. I don't really write them to be good. (No, I'm not saying that so someone will tell me they're not bad. Really).
I write bad poetry so that I can write good prose, which is something I really want to do, and why I decided to make a discipline of participating in the poetry party and the Friday Fives this year. And I'm doing that. And I'm going to school, and this semester writing weekly short papers, an assignment that I find demeaning at best (what is this, grade school?) and enormously frustrating, because I can't figure out what the point is. But the creative outlet of writing bad poetry lets me come up with the occasional good phrase or concept, like the interstitial spaces of a poem earlier this year. The poem was awful, frankly. But the idea that it's in the interstitial spaces, the in-between places, that everything happens, gives new meaning to times of transition and flux in our lives, those in-between times. The spaces between people, or between people and God, are where relationships take place, which gives meaning and dimension to our lives.
So there will be a bad poem in a day or two. I feel pretty good about that. I'm not in it to win a prize or for acclaim. I'm writing poetry to help me shape ideas that I can use to frame my thinking and writing, and to help me teach others what it means to know God, to be a Christ-follower, to be in relationship with God and with others. So, Gentle Reader (to borrow an affectation from Stephen King), I apologize in advance. There will be more bad poetry. It's in a good cause.

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