Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Why write?

This past weekend I picked up a copy of the Burnside Review, a new poetry magazine out of Portland. In addition to the poems, which were very good, there is also an interview with Dorianne Laux.

The interview is enlightening and interesting. I think Laux is particularly eloquent in her expression of why she writes - I know.her words ring true for me:

"I don't know why other people write but I write, because I have to. I'm not expecting anything to come from it other than my own self-fulfillment and edification. I'm trying, poem by poem, to figure out who I am and how I belong in this world. I'm trying to make a wholeness from the fragments of my life. I'm trying to find out what I know and where I'm going. I'm trying to see beyond myself and into the lives of others. I'm trying to feel what I feel again, in slow motion, so I can learn from it. I write because I feel compelled to say something back to those who said something long ago and are still waiting for a response, not just from anyone, but from me. I write because it's a form of praise, a form of meditation, elegy, prayer. A way of paying attention, of staying awake in a world that wants to put us to sleep. It's a stay against death, not that the writing will keep me from dying, not that it will live beyond me, but in that it makes me feel more fully alive."

Four of Dorianne's poems can be read in the online archives of Poetry Magazine.


bevjackson said...

I'm a big fan of Laux's, and love the how to poetry book she did with
Kim Addonizio. (I like them both).
Thanks for this.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

I haven't read their book, but I just might have to get it this weekend.