Today is Monday. Everyone is at school. I don’t have to go anywhere until it’s time to pick up children. It’s the perfect day for poetry.
And yet I’m feeling empty. Empty of words, empty of ideas, empty of imagination.
Having just made a big push getting my manuscript in shape (again), yes, I have the Poetry Dummies.
When I’m feeling Empty and Poetry Dumb, there are three things I do:
- Write anyway
- Seek comfort in the words of other writers about their times of emptiness
Such words came to me yesterday via The Writers Chronicle. Here is W. S. Merwin:
“Whenever I finished a poem, all my life, or have come to the end of it, and thought I had to let it go, I didn’t know what else to do. I think, ‘Well, that’s the best I can do. I may never write another poem.’ I don’t know that I’ll be able to write another poem.”
W. S. Merwin, former poet laureate, who began publishing in 1952 and who has published steadily ever since. Whose bibliography on the Poetry Foundation website lists 30 books of poetry, 8 of prose, 25 of translations. Amongst other works.
So, I guess is W. S. Merwin feels empty of poetry from time to time, it’s okay if we do, too.