Since April is National Poetry Month, I’ve been looking around at what different poets have to say about getting started. This quote by Mark Doty – from an address he gave at the 2011 Whiting Awards ceremony (the entire text of which you can read on Critical Mass) heartened me, as does each suggestion I find that amazing writers struggle as surely as we all do, and that our writing is better for it:
If there were not moments when it seems no one is paying the least bit of attention to what you do, or days when it seems the world absolutely does not need another lyric poem, another novel of ideas, I suspect our work would be far the less for it. Rejection must be at least as much a part of of our education as affirmation is; here in the vale of soul-making, it seems very unlikely that we’ll experience one without the other.
I’m in Paris, reading a poem in French today. I hope the day finds you reading poetry as well. – Meg