“Doing Something With My Poetry”
I just celebrated the year anniversary of finally "doing something" with my poetry. Actually, it was more like February or March, but I didn't want to write in the "heat" of that poetry moment, so I let a little time pass.
So, I am not sure whether to hug or kick my husband for urging me to "do something" with my poetry. I was a better poet last year, at least I thought I was. I was my own best critic, loving everything I wrote. I made myself cry, laugh and dream when I read my own poems. I could be anything in my own mind watching my poems float above my head like beautiful pastel colored balloons. Now, dead balloons lay all around my feet, pierced by rejections and very few float around my head anymore.
Still, gentle John says, "Hang in there! You are good, better than most anybody I've read!" It makes me think of the scene in Don Quixote. Remember, he was a crazy old man slaying dragons when everyone else could see they were actually windmills? They tried to convince him that he was crazy. He also thought the local harlot was Dulicnea, a princess. She and the men of the bar scoffed at him. He sang a song to her called “The Impossible Dream,” telling her, The world will be better for this, that one man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable star!
I am No One, I am Nothing at all, I am Only a Poet!
Don Quixote found her, Sophia Loren, after being raped by the men in the village. She sang a stunning song,
Take the glass from your eyes and see me as I really am! You have shown me the sky, but what good is the sky for a creature who'll never do better than crawl? Of all the cruel bastards who badgered and battered me, you are the cruelest of all!
Can't you see what your gentle insanities do to me? Rob me of anger and give me despair! Blows and abuse I can take and give back again. Tenderness I cannot bear...I am no one, I am nothing, I'm only a whore."
He yelled back, "You are a lady! You are Dulcinea!
(You can watch that song on this YouTube video: http://youtu.be/6ipuoMjer1I )
Finally, they take Don Quixote to the Wall of Mirrors to show him what a fool he was. They wanted him to see reality and see things as they were. When he finally saw their truths, he became old and ill. On his deathbed, the town harlot (his Dulcinea) came to him. He didn't remember who she was. She begged him to see her once again. He could not.
The Impossible Dream
I identify with this scene. Journals and contests badger and batter me, then toss me aside like, well the poetry whore that I am. I give it to anyone for free, for a copy of a book or one little compliment.
Then, there is John (rhymes with Don) telling me I am not a whore, showing me the sky, calling me a great poet. I've learned to take the abuse and give it back, (Damn journals! Fools that they are!) but his gentle insanities are the cruelest of all.
Still I am what I am and I can’t stop chasing that impossible dream and Don (I mean John) helps me chase those windmills and slay those dragons, telling me the whole time someday the world will see, “You are a poet! An amazing poet and one day the world will be better for this!”
So, I keep writing and with the last ounce of courage I have, I keep submitting hanging on to that dream. I just hope John never sees any other “truth.”
Watch a clip from the movie and hear “The Impossible Dream” here: http://youtu.be/RfHnzYEHAow
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