Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The Day My Bad Poems Merged With My Other, Not So Bad Poems
I was (am!) a mediocre poet; had published a few here and there but lacked ambition
and the "poet's ego": the belief that my words have any special claim on "the reader"
(though not lacking in ego in other aspects of my life!).
One day I began to write deliberately bad poems, and wrote many quite quickly;
some were translations from imaginary Latin American poets
(which curiously enough was the subject of my first published poem, titled "Poem"
that I wrote when I was 18 or so
and is related to the book of literary criticism for which I am best known in the academic world,
Apocryphal Lorca.) My latest discovery is that my so called bad poems
are actually my poems, the ones I am meant to write. Now when I write I simply
write without worrying whether it's any good and without even trying to make it bad on purpose.
Trying to write badly and well are both exercises of the ego that are increasingly irrelevant to me.