Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A day in poet's paradise

Saturday was really wonderful. I originally had two reallys before wonderful, but thought the better of it because there simply aren't enough reallys to convey how great it was; one in italics will have to suffice.

I went to an all-day poetry workshop down in Yakima with Kim Stafford, a second-generation poet and genuinely nice human being. I loved that he took the time to ask each of us attending the class what moves us to write and what we were looking for from the class and then listened and responded to each of us individually. It wasn't just touchy-feely, though; he's an incredibly gifted poet with tremendous technical skill and he shared freely from his experiences.

For this year's class I was in a relaxed, confident place, both emotionally and with my art. I feel like I've matured, particularly in my writing process and my patience with my work. Sometimes it takes a while for a poem to tell me where it's going, and I'm finally okay with that; I no longer feel the need to turn out perfect poetry right out of the gate. In fact, I recognize that it won't ever be perfect, but it will feel right when it's done.

Coming into the class with that sense was so different from last year, when I felt like the kid invited to sit at the grown-up's table for the first time, using all the wrong forks and not knowing how to make conversation but wanting somehow to prove myself. It was nice to be at ease, to relax, to mingle, and above all, to feel a sense of abundance about my writing: an abundance of things to write about, of time in which to write, and of wisdom to hone what I write into the best possible version of itself.

I also have to add, I got some of the best ever pregnancy advice from Kim. At the very end of the afternoon, he told me that his mother's doctor had prescribed for her "an hour every day spent in beauty". He said every pregnant woman needs that time surrounded by beauty so that she can pass it on to her children.

I promised Dr. Stafford I would follow his prescription.


John and Chantalle said...

I heard you tell the prego advise to Gail this weekend and I agree that all women should spend an hour in beauty. It is inspired advice.

Super Happy Girl said...

"...when I felt like the kid invited to sit at the grown-up's table for the first time" >> I am glad you were more at ease this time :) Sounds nice to be able to learn more about something you love so much and get together with other that do too.