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Thursday, February 12, 2009

On writing


This is a poem that I like...A dramatic, and for me, a moving poem, by a contemporary poet... I recently read an article by a successful reviewer of the written word, and he explained that many have trouble writing poetry or really any kind of literature, because they have a tendency to write "from their feelings", and that somehow you have to train yourself to abstain from this, by writing somewhere right outside the circle of your feelings, maybe a bit like stepping back, but still recognizing the feelings from where the writing is coming from..

This spoke volumes to me, as I have understood this to be my single biggest writing block over the years...It takes great discipline to overcome this, and I still need to work on it....

When I was young, I wrote ferociously, and sometimes I couldn't put the pen to the paper fast enough, as the thoughts and words flew out of me at record speed. I still have some of those poems, and believe it or not, some are impressive..

As I grew up, I think that I became more self conscious about my writing, hence the poems/songs that I have written over the years, stuffed either into my piano bench or a box in my closet...
Well, I DO like this poem...Not for those that require what I like to term "Happy Wappy" literature...No, it's a bit dark, but I like it....

Burning the Doll by Cecilia Woloch
I am the girl who burned her doll, who gave her father the doll to burn

the bride doll I had been given at six, as a Christmas gift, by the same great uncle who once introduced me at my blind second cousin's wedding to a man who winced, "A future Miss America, I'm sure " while I stood there, sweating in a prickly flowered dress, ugly, wanting to cry.

I loved the uncle but I wanted that doll to burn because I loved my father best and the doll was a lie.

I hated her white gown stitched with pearls, her blinking, mocking blue glass eyes that closed and opened, opened and closed when I stood her up, when I laid her down.

Her stiff, hinged body was not like mine, which was wild and brown, and there was no groom "stupid doll, who smiled and smiled, even when I flung her to the ground, even when I struck her, naked, against the pink walls of my room. I was not sorry, then, I would never be sorry " not even when I was a bride, myself, and swung down the aisle on my father's arm toward a marriage that wouldn't last in a heavy dress that was cut to fit, a satin dress I didn't want, but that my mother insisted upon

" Who gives this woman? " wondering, Who takes the witchy child?

And that day, my father was cleaning the basement; he'd built a fire in the black can in the back of our backyard, and I was seven, I wanted to help, so I offered him the doll. I remember he looked at me, once, hard, asked, Are you sure? I nodded my head.

Father, this was our deepest confession of love. I didn't watch the plastic body melt to soft flesh in the flames " I watched you move from the house to the fire.

I would have given you anything.

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