Understanding or love (it muuust be looove) of form in art is not form in life.
This, I know.
How, otherwise, to account? I am taken over, two weeks shy of 55, by my work, in poetry, in religious writing, as I was when I was in my early twenties. I have shed myself of pretension of success or even conversation. I am not in dialogue, even as I show what I think and do, and - more importantly - have found a means through blogging and Facebook to assist in artists viewing other artists' work.
And so, in the spirit or nature of a scientist, a critic of reality. I relate. I am taken over by the ebb and flow of thought and writing. I am compelled - feeling does not suffice - to pursue the various threads of poems, writing about poems (as in this blog) and writing from a faith perspective.
The "form" of the middle-aged poet, as I understand it, is to follow through, to supplement. Perhaps to seek out and encourage the like-minded, or teleological dependents. I have none of this.
I - whatever "I" means - am somehow positioned simply to speak. I am not at a juncture, or crisis, or within a school. As much as have written in support of "form" I have never bothered to establish or defend anything.
I have no argument, prayer, or complaint, with respect to poetry. I do not know how not to work. When I am not writing, I know it is because I am preparing to write.
It has been this way for over 30 years.
But, I have to say, I am surprised. I thought that the drama of need would have been bled out of me. Really, I have nothing to prove. Perhaps my surprise is the result merely of having grown up in an environment rife with the expectation that artists should prove themselves.
How stupid. How utterly wrong. Does a cloud have to prove it is a cloud? Must a rock declare itself a rock?
Are we not more than rocks, or clouds?
Well, I have tipped my hand, have I not? ;-) It is somewhat apparent, even to me, how faith and art have come so close. Clearly, it is a matter of spirit and belief and, I suppose, energy.
Is it possible that the great gift of art is, in fact, release from one's own expectations?
If so, or, against this, how do book sales compare? Or the utterance of one's name in conversation...