Getting it Right and Getting it Written
……. don’t get it right, get it written” ….. we bashed this whole concept around for a while. The merits of revision (getting it right) after initial inspiration (getting it written)…..and then we had to write a passage inspired by the concept itself…..
“Don’t get it right, get it written”. The voice of reason echoed down the years to torment me. My English teacher had been my inspiration and my enemy. Those words and many other pearls of wisdom came back to haunt me, time without number, whenever I struggled to make a single mark on a virgin page.
Today’s task was different. The getting it written part had been accomplished, albeit with the usual scribbling out and gaps left for later. The “poem” (note inverted commas) sat before me, like the elephant in the room. Vast and lumbering, it stared back at me in silent contemplation of my next move.
I had a cheek to call it a poem really. No rhyming couplets, no shape at all and a pedestrian rhythm which jarred horribly with its fluid subject matter. Water. How fluently that medium should have translated to the poetic form but, no matter how I tried, it just wouldn’t flow.
“Don’t get it right, get it written”. There she goes again. Okay, okay, I heard you. That bit is done but now it’s down to the real task in hand, to refine and hone this ugly lump of language into something worthy of the name poetry. I lost track of how long I sat and stared at the thing, hating it more with every passing minute and every painful reread.
Putting down my pen and rising from my desk, I crossed the room to the tiny sink in the corner. Perhaps a cup of something strong and black would help. I turned on the tap and the water surged, clear and bright into the base of the kettle. The sound of its song as it raced around the vessel was magical, siren-like and ethereal. I asked myself how I could ever aspire to capture that watery mystery with mere words. There and then I decided I was going to give up writing poetry for good.
Category:Members’ work. Tags:Practice,Appropriate language,Power of words