Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The warp of memory

Looking over old notebooks last week (and cannibalising lots of stuff!), I was struck by how often I fail as a poet when events or places are too recent. I'm more and more convinced that the warp of memory plays a key role in creating poetry, in turning anecdotes and feelings into verse.

In fact, the creative process is unconsciously ongoing in my mind. I know that most of my best latest work has come about by returning months or years later to a failed poem. When rereading it, I suddenly glimpse the right route and wonder how I missed something so obvious when struggling with the same material in the past. That moment of realisation isn't "inspiration" as much as the point at which the unconscious becomes conscious and crystalises in poetry.

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