Realism and Reality: Pen Pal Letter #8

that voice is not my own

To Whom It May Concern:

(partially inspired by this post by @itskamillaq on Instagram)

Not all of my writing is about me. Even the ones that are might be over-exaggerated or abstracted. For instance, I am not currently a boat. Nor was I when that poem was written.

As far as I am aware, boats cannot write poems. They don’t even have hands.

Well, they might have some on deck. I think I’m getting distracted. Back to the matter at hand.

If I were to say something about “my lungs throbbing with every sob,” (which is not yet a line in anything I’ve written) I am not talking about my lungs. Or I am, but my sadness is actually much less extreme. Or maybe I am talking about my lungs, but I’m speaking about the past, and I’m over it now.

I like the ambiguity of poetry. How much of this writing be taken literally? How much actually is inspired by the poet’s life?

Even first person POV poems can be entirely from the perspective of a narrator that isn’t the poet, the same way that first person novels usually aren’t written from the author’s personal perspective.

I appreciate the people who want to make sure that I am okay after I put out something morose. It’s nice to see that people care about me. That said, when I write a moody poem, there’s a good chance that it is not about me. Or it is, but it’s exaggerated. Or it is about me, but it’s about the past, and I’m over it now.

I hope you’re doing well.

Sincerely,

Joy


P.S.

Currently Reading: Supernova by Ris V. Rose

Recent Faves: “Jerusalem” by Naomi Shihab Nye, “Alligator Mound” by Abigail Goodhart for voicemail poems, and “How Light” by William Michaelian

My Recent Creations: “In My Hands v1”, “In My Hands v2”, and “Adrift”

Current Projects: Starting this newsletter!

Secret link to my favorite poem at the moment


Photo by mcredifine from Pixabay


P.P.S.

This is the final pen pal letter that will appear on this blog (at least for now). It has now become a newsletter that will go out on Tuesdays once or twice a month. If you want to subscribe with your email or simply check in on this and future newsletters in webpage form, visit my Substack. This week’s email will go out an hour after this post is published.

5 thoughts on “Realism and Reality: Pen Pal Letter #8”

    1. That’s part of what I like about poetry–not that it is cryptic, but that it expresses so much in so little space and you can have layers of understanding available to the reader.

      Like

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