On the Lyrical Eve


Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven
is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.
Matthew 13:52 [ESV]

This will be my second year posting a poem per day during April for National Poetry Writing Month aka NaPoWriMo.

I must qualify my participation in this lyrical conflagration; I am bringing forth poems already written but never posted—which causes me to consider my poetic rationale: spontaneous gush vs. obsessive workmanship.

I used to believe that creative souls produce their most authentic work in a frenzied flow of inspiration. This is the modern myth of the Artist as oracle or prophet; a being so special she/he just HAS to get it out there in one inspired unburdening. To alter it is to make it less authentic; rather like vomiting or excretion, no?  But as I grew up and reconsidered things, I moved away from this model. I realized that derivative techniques like collage, “found poetry“, surrealist shock-art, dadaist mockery of previous paradigms and the ironic take on a well-known theme are all good fun, but in the end too easy. This approach cheapens the creative discourse and eventually tries to turn art into a “happening”, poetry into “automatic writing”, music into nihilistic cacophony, and so on.

Stream-of-consciousness dribbles, rants and visionary diatribes often (though not always) make for boring art; we are reminded that we have seen it many times before. Some do it very well—that is sure. I like surrealistic collage and quirky spontaneous juxtaposition, don’t get me wrong; but as a steady diet it will leave you artistically malnourished. We can’t all be dadaists or minimalist mystics . . . or even Zen haikuists. The other approach to art stresses craftsmanship and mastery and goes against the model of “Artist as mystically-inspired Other” which has been foisted upon us since the beginning of Modernism in the late 19th century.

So I confess—I am not really writing one-a-day for April. I am bringing out of my coffers amateur jewelry set with merely semi-precious stones. I have, however, been reworking, refining, polishing, and finishing these adornments for my loyal Connectees. They have been faithfully and obsessively crafted.

I invite you to read my poetry over the next 30 days. And remember
you have the RIGHT
to be offended !

5 comments on “On the Lyrical Eve

  1. wiseblooding says:

    Since I’m pretty much a recognized rule-breaker, I too will be going to my poetry reserve, though some things will be new and freshly minted. In my view only, the concept of NaPoWriMo won’t suffer if I’m not writing a new poem daily. I will be working daily on poetry … and that’s good enough. I love the verse from Matthew! From one scribe to another, I consider these humble poetic efforts as a “spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1) To God be the glory!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrew says:

      The word “scribe” has negative connotations throughout much of the NT –
      but in this case I found it to be a positive term, like “writer” (or scribbler !)
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Elle says:

    concise point. I agree, for the most part. I am fond of the daily practice of word, but to think a person could produce high caliber poetic literature on the spot, every day, for 30 days, well, it’s a bit absurd. I’m sure it could be done if someone could devote the larger portion of their day to it, each day, but this is highly unrealistic. I know for me, I tend to work several pieces at once over a number of days, and then there are times I am moved to write at length on the spot requiring little editing, but this is the exception. I like your idea of offering word daily, but I do think there is something to be said for crafting daily as well (which of course you never spoke the contrary, I know.) I may just have to reblog this :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andrew says:

      I agree J –
      It is rather absurd to think that people working 9-5 (or maybe more, perhaps with families and busy schedules) are going to put out a well-crafted poem every day of April. Maybe I should take a more experimental approach to NaPoWriMo – but so far I just bring out drafts I have been working on for quite a while. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elle says:

    Reblogged this on Janelle (Elle) Segarra.


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