Thursday, July 16, 2009

Creativity-- NOT!

I often ponder creativity, most recently wondering how I can return to "creative writing" since my schedule was upset by my father-in-law moving in last November. It used to be that I could spend an hour uninterrupted early in the morning. Now I cannot stop listening for the clatter of his walker, his gruff voice barking at the cats, the slam of the bathroom door, the clank of his spoon on his cereal bowl.

I am a fan of the idea that creative action can occur anywhere and cannot now prove it in my own life. It is not for this reason that I'm looking at new takes on creativity although even a mild cynic could think so given that I am tottering on the edge of thinking/saying that poets should shed the notion of creativity entirely. I come to this not from desperation to justify my father-in-law's upsetting my schedule but from the notion that creativity, for the poet, is a formal organizing of chaos, a saying of the unsayable. This means that creativity is the making of cages, structures. It is a violent, radical subjugating of things to create a mimicry of Truth.

I thus come to the conclusion that the poet must know and practice the rules, ancient and modern, the craft comes with since creativity cannot exist outside of the very rules the very notion of creativity seeks to erase. Choose your slavery, choose your master and submit to its violence. I always wondered why poetry is so hard. The answer is two-fold:

First, it uses words for the wordless;

Second, it joins the abysmal with the sublime.

Except by faith it is an impossible endeavor.

I re-conclude that there is no such thing as creativity since the poet creates nothing new other than a fresh mimicry. This is not to belittle the poet. Well, yes it is-- but only from thinking himself a god. My experience with poets is that too many think they are the Creator of the truth they try to speak or, worse, they think their words are THE TRUTH. They are not sufficiently submissive to the violence of their art.

Worse is the poet who doesn't think he is trying for Truth.

The landscape would be drastically improved by poets practicing poetry and forgetting about creativity.

So long for now.

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