Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ack! Narrative anxiety

I am struggling with this idea of narrative poetry—or narration in a poem—or just writing a poem.

After taking Karen Finnefrock's class and reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones, I'm doing a lot of generative writing. I love the generative writing, but I end up with this long, rambling mess of images and memories. That's the point, to go and see where it takes me and hopefully end up with some new, surprising stuff.

But it's the long, rambling aspect of it that worries me. It doesn't feel like a poem.

Yes, this is before any revising—and yes, any of this work will most likely see much revising. But I can't shake this feeling that I'm really just telling a story in a very linear way. Maybe that's okay, but I don't think it's the poem I want to write.

How do you tell a story in a poem?

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