Monday, September 23, 2013

Real Life Inspiring Writing

In an earlier bog post, Are Novels Largely Autobiographical?, I talk about how bits of experiences in my life are used in creating my fictional worlds, but when all is said and done, the novels are far from autobiographical. However, my poetry is much more autobiographical, and yet my poems too are not completely true to life. A writer often, as I do in my poetry, uses real life as an inspiration but does stick strictly to the facts. 
A writer's first commitment is to create good writing, or more to the point, good reading. To this end, in my poetry, I will often take an emotion or a life situation and magnify its effects to fully capture its essence. It's like cooking down a sauce to enhance the flavor. In so doing, I not only over dramatize the theme but I leave out details that would water down or take away from the full impact.
Readers are left with something that they can possibly relate to in their lives, something they once felt or experienced, and here it is in a pure form, spoken with uncluttered intensity. Though they too most likely did not have as raw of a real life event as the poem conveys, it's speaks to what they went through.
All this being said, here is my most recent poem:

I think that when I hug him, what he feels is what it will be like when I’m gone and he can no longer experience the comfort of being in my arms.
When I kiss him, and he wants it so badly, he pulls away because he knows (has convinced himself) that someday he will not have my kisses, and it will be all the more agonizing if he lets me have his now.
My smile is taken to be a threat that I will someday only offer him only sneers.
My kindest gesture is interpreted as a promise that there will be a time when I no longer give him anything but pain.
Every time he does not slip his hand into mine, he is extending the kindness of making its absence less difficult when he is eventually gone.
When he does not say “I love you,” he is giving me a gift of a less-it-could-have-been someday broken heart.
Each time he refuses to share his past with me, he is assuring me that when I become someone from his past, my secrets will be safe.
The walls he erects are meant to support us both when the time comes for us to stand alone.
For my own protection he has told me it will never get any better.
That fact that I am still here, means little, for he could see the end before it even began.
Yet the fact that we are both still here, is because he has failed miserably in all his efforts to protect our hearts.
- Harrie Farrow August 2013

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