Friday, December 11, 2009

What Are Your Poems About, Lady?

I've had a couple of emails over the last few days that ask me about the poems, so I thought I'd take a second to reflect on writing in general and why I write in the forms that I write in.

First of all, the poems are not about you. Or you or you or you or your mother or your husband or your doctor or your blog or your email or etc. My poems are only about the very words that are in there. If I wanted to just say something outright about me or my feelings or my friendships, I certainly would just try to say it, or like every other good American, I would just pine on it for days and get a migraine. :) Poems, for me, are about all sorts of experiences and ideas and feelings and observations all mish-mashed-platoonked together and zoopled out into their form. When someone asks, "Is that poem about..." my answer is usually "um . . . maybe. I guess so, well, not really . . . I don't know."

I just wrote a poem that some could read literally and think it was about my doctor and my very last doctor's appointment- not at all. It was about a general feeling I have at the doctor and general language that is battered about at the doctor, and mish-mash-platoonk, a bunch of other thoughts and feelings into a poem. But why does it matter what I thought the poem was about? It does not matter.

I think poems are just exactly what they are when the reader reads them. In theatre, I always tell the young actors, "if the audience sees it, they're right," because young actors always want to say, "you didn't get my scene, it was about . . ."- but the truth is, if the audience sees something clearly it doesn't MATTER if the actor thought they were showing something else. Same is true for poems. Whatever the reader reads, that's what the poem's about. It doesn't really matter what I think.

And, L'Chaim!
Happy Hanukkah!

More poems soon,
I am in the holiday spirit!!

And as of Friday, 2 months on the tx list. Sigh. Any day now!!

Love, CG


  1. Regarding poetry: Amen.
    Regarding transplant: Hoping for those lungs to come very very very soon.


  2. Platoonked? Zoopled? If we were playing scrablle you'd be challenged m'dear. XO.

  3. Meg McCauley12/15/09, 11:01 PM

    As I read your poems, I was laughing remembering the poem you let me "steal" for a final project for my dreaded poetry class. Laughing extra hard because I won "poet laureate". :)


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