Life Arts

"Prologue: A Conversation with Diane Wakoski About 'Bay of Angels' and Crashing Through Mirrors" --with Gary Corseri

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 5 of 6 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Inspiring 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 12/10/13

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)

figures of the zodiac, I look

at my old body

and I know that all my youthful

cruelties

cover me, clothe me with age's

cobwebbed skin, my belly swollen as if

I were illicitly pregnant,

and the sight of my own nakedness strips me

of any goddess qualities I might

ever have possessed."

And so, in "Showering Behind the Zodiac's Curtain," a kind of resolution, a kind of cinematic denouement, a washing away of youthful and not-so-youthful follies.

I've been trying here to get into the thorny question of how a poet develops.  I've taken a few leaps-of-faith and leaps in the dark, and I'm hoping you can set me straight.  I hope you can talk about process now--how you write, what inspires you, how you've managed to maintain a vital 50-year career as a poet.  What do you recommend to your students, to youthful mariners just embarking on this, sometimes perilous, voyage?  How does one keep a steady keel?

DW : Thinking about the quotations you've selected and the importance that I have always placed on self-criticism, I need to offer the word: balance.  

A fellow undergraduate at Berkeley ('56-'60) once bemusedly said to me, talking about that great uncertainty, being a young poet, "Diane, I don't understand how you can believe in yourself so completely."   I've remembered this over the years, because I recognized the truth of his statement, the minute he uttered it.   I do believe in myself, I have since childhood, and though I constantly question myself, try to look at my failures honestly, try to be a stronger, better person, at root I believe in myself.   Being born poor and from an uneducated family, I learned early that if things went wrong, no one would fix them.   I had to say to myself, "How can I fix this, what did I do wrong?   If I did nothing wrong, it doesn't matter; I still have to be the one who finds a solution."  

Self-belief=Self-questioning.   If they are in balance, you can progress with some success in your personal life.

Poems have many functions, but one of them is problem-solving.   My process is to take some material, which generates a question and that interests me, and try to transform it. You ask what inspires me?   Books, movies, food, gambling; female objects of beauty such as butterflies, jewels, flowers, shoes; male objects of beauty such as motorcycles, carpentry & tools; hands; feet; mouths; the Garden Myth; the Orpheus Myth; gold and silver; sun and moon! Things inspire me, though beauty as an idea also can fill me with something to say.  

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

 

Gary Corseri has published & posted his work at hundreds of venues worldwide, including Op Ed News, The New York Times, CounterPunch, CommonDreams, DissidentVoice, L.A. (and Hollywood--) Progressive. He has been a professor in the US & Japan, has (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Rise of Our Dumbocracy (A Review of Paul Craig Roberts' "How America Was Lost")

"Bring Back Our Girls!"

"17 Camels: Can a Sufi Tale Heal Our Broken World?"

Planetary Consciousness and the Tears of the World: A Review of Carolyn Baker's "Collapsing Consciously"

10 Good Things About the US Government Shutdown

Safe Passage..., with a Big IF: A Review of Paul Craig Roberts' THE FAILURE OF LAISSEZ FAIRE CAPITALISM

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Accessible, meaningful, informative, insightful an... by Gary Corseri on Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 at 7:16:45 PM
Thanks for this.... by Kevin Tully on Monday, Dec 16, 2013 at 9:14:44 AM