I seem to have lost faith in poetry. It's nothing without music. It's so sterile, so precious. Poems I used to swoon over make me sick. I want to write about people's lives--these days it feels like only a novel will do.
The realization bothers me, but I have little inclination to fight it. I want to communicate with people, above all, and the fact remains that hardly anyone reads poetry. Even I don't, hardly, anymore. I know that this is a common trajectory for writers, especially Canadian female ones. We start with poetry, move on to short stories and finally novels, gathering, snowballing our strength. I want more than anything to be part of the world. I would rather write novels that people read than write the best poems in the world that no one was interested in. Sure, perhaps there should be a fight to reinstate poetry. (Do we need poetry now that we have rap?) Well, I am not up to the task. I do not feel I have time. Or energy.
Or course, I have notes for two new poems right now. If I think of nothing but the new poems and the ideas I want to express, poetry is good, poetry is great, I am a poet. I do like Jesse Ferguson's stuff. And there's always Emily. It's not as if music, what I've been holding up as the epitome of relevance and human connection, is saturated with gold. Like poetry, most of it is either trite or pretentious. One thing the musicians I know are doing right is writing and performing first for their friends and community; collaborating with their friends, promoting themselves to their friends. Relevance is more than half context.