Aug 4, 2008

We Breathe this Air Thick

I recently reworked a poem about my father. It was finally where it needed to be: it was honest. I didn't write around how I felt. No wordplay to hide the underlying emotions, the layers, the heavy layers. The piece was not an ode. I didn't write it to honour my dad. I wrote it to capture the essence of a complicated relationship between father and daughter due to traumas beyond (and somewhat in) their control. It marks a lack of communication, and the complex ways in which we all feel (felt) love for those we have (had) layered histories with.

The poem for baba holds an intricacy of emotions, a simultaneity of conflicting feelings. Because that's how we live: with coexisting (and often contradictory) realities, multiple truths. And if I am to live my poems, I must be true to that. To myself.

I shared the poem with another poet who, after grilling me on minute details of the piece, asked if that was all I had to offer to my dad. Initially, I was offended, and slightly hurt by her question. Perhaps her relationship with her father was not complicated. Regardless, something about my poem triggered this person. So I told her this was all I could offer: honesty and unconditional love. And what more can we offer our loved ones?

We write for so many reasons. To release. To breathe. We also write to honor our experiences with honesty. To acknowledge our multiple ways of feeling and being within given moments in our lives. Poems gesture (the sentiment of) such moments. And that poem for baba is one such moment within the larger poetry I am living.

5 Comments:

Blogger B! said...

The poem was finally where it needed to be: it was honest. I didn't write around how I felt, I wrote about it. No wordplay to hide the underlying emotions, the layers, the heavy layers.

I'm glad for you.

You have the described the kind of poem I would like/probably need/am too afraid to write about my own father in order to make some kind of peace.

5:27 PM  
Blogger glued blue glass said...

You can only offer what you feel comfortable offering. Don't push yourself to offer any more than that. I am glad that you have poetry to get your complicated feelings out and to truly push yoyrself to describe that. I am working on that with my wriitng right now. I want to stop sugar coating and romaticizing and get at the raw truth even if it hurts me. You are an inspiration.

3:02 PM  
Blogger glued blue glass said...

P.S. The title of this post is an excellent fit by the way.

3:04 PM  
Blogger blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there!!

A writer knows from deep within when what has been produced is "complete"...

We know it because our spirit exhales and we know we can put down the pen...

Lisa

4:16 PM  
Blogger parami10 said...

hell yea. our convo about this still sticks in my mind. as poets our gift to the world is that we can offer it a reflection of everything that it is, and inevitably everything is complicated. maybe one day this other poet you shared it with will choose to look into the deeper cracks of her own relationship to her father. history is never simple.

3:15 PM  

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