I once fancied myself a poet of sorts. I let go of that idea for a long time. Then, I recently came across a book of collected poems by my younger self. Each poem was typed, then cut out and carefully pasted into a blank book. The gold lettering, hand-pressed to the outside cover and spine, still looks pretty good. It’s the most professional look I could manage given the technology of the time.
Now I could key in an address, get out my credit card and order up a professionally printed, bound, self-authored, illustrated book. Maybe someday.
There’s an honest quality to the typewritten page. The corrected type speaks volumes. The indentations that punctuation make into the paper give the poem a tangible finality.
The temptation to edit and polish the poem before sharing it was strong. But, I like the unjaded, unedited perspective of youth. To quell the editor in me I simply photographed the poem from the page in my book to share right here.
I’m not sure I have it in me anymore to write poetry. It’s a stark, open-bellied, sense of exposure to write a poem. There isn’t any excess verbiage to hide behind, no explanatory prefacing. It’s like a literary photograph. The writer must say, “This is my perspective, this is what I saw, nothing more, nothing less. Take it or leave it.”
I really liked this post, Kami. I’ve tried my hand at poetry and it’s darn difficult! Always turns out labored and clunky. I liked your description of it as a “literary photograph” with no “excess verbiage to hide behind.” Nail on the head. I’m sure you’ll get your self-authored and illustrated book together some day too. 🙂