Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Poetry Thursday 75 - Is there light?

They reckon that you shouldn't write while under the influence of anything which if you think about it is impossible. Everyone is always under the influence of something whether it be chemical, human or self-inflicted like stress, worry or depression. The poem below is an example of writing under the influence of some alcohol, I wasn't falling down drunk, but the words flowed in a few seconds. Sometimes the introduction of emotion or even a chemical stimulant can release the flow. 


Is there light?

The words are in my head
and the journey persists.
Endings have no meaning
and are individual.
Explanations are subjective
and infinite.
Meaning is available
and inexplicable.
The path is unknown
and malleable.
Solutions are irrelevant
and unobtainable.
©David L Atkinson August 2013


Hemingway - Write drunk, edit sober!

Does it help writers to drink? Certainly Jack Kerouac, Dylan Thomas, John Cheever, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald thought so. In fact that the antics of Dylan Thomas immediately prior to his death are the stuff of legend and there is a film being prepared for next year which is the 100th anniversary of the writer's birth. Behind the Thomas story, though, is an older myth, that poetry and alcohol go together, as complementary means to achieve transcendence. You can trace the idea back to ancient Greece, where poems would be recited at drinking parties or symposia (often competitively, in a "capping game", one person following another). The idea is common to other cultures, too, including the Chinese, where in the third century AD the seven sages of the Bamboo Grove retired to the country to drink wine and compose verse: "Once drunk, a cup of wine can bring 100 stanzas," the poet Xiuxi Yin claimed. The drunker the bard, the more the words flowed. 

 Dylan Thomas

Thomas epitomised this tradition of the roistering rhymer – to the distaste of Kingsley Amis, who wrote a singularly unpleasant epitaph for him:
They call you "drunk with words"; 
but when we drink
And fetch it up, we sluice it down 
the sink.
You should have stuck to spewing 
beer, not ink.

God Bless