Back on Tuesday it was clear that we would be short of a presenter from the class for their on-going oral presentations, part of their assessment for the diploma. Daryl, whose turn it was, needed to attend a rehearsal for the Festival of Arts and I didn't want to force someone else to present earlier than I had time-tabled feeling this wouldn't have been fair. Also no one was keen to go earlier than expected and get theirs out of the way. So I suggested we look at a poem and see what kind of commentary we might come up with. As it happened we finished the lesson on Tuesday with a bit of a natter about authorial intent, for reasons I can't quite remember. I pointed out that the discussion was distinctly TOK-ish, I suppose due to its fairly philosophical nature. I distinctly remember gleefully casting aspersions upon literary theorists of all shades. Suddenly I found myself being asked whether I wrote poetry, the follow-up being that, since I did, wouldn't it be interesting to carve up one of my pieces with the author on hand to say what he had intended as a sort of TOK experiment. Well, it sounded like a jolly idea, the sort that might be unexpectedly illuminating (or a complete disaster which is sometimes just as good.)
Back home I went to dig up something for today and I must say that if no one else found it worthwhile I got a lot out of it. I'm the kind of writer (I'm using the term in the loosest possible manner) who generally invests little of himself in his work. Trying to do so has never done anything for me. I suppose I write to order (most of my stuff having been of a 'public' nature one way or another) even in the private domain. I found myself utterly detached from the poem today and enjoying the perspicacity of the comments about it, almost every one of which was resonant to some degree, chiming with something I felt about the piece. And that was something I tried to communicate to the class - I wasn't particularly clear about my intention when writing the poem, though I had set clear parameters for what I was doing in very practical terms. I suspect a lot of (real) writers feel the same way about what they do - a much greater degree of detachment than the layman might suspect.
Anyway, here's the poem in question, just to make it clear I am entirely shameless in these matters:
Sometimes what you have to say and saying it seem very
Far apart, not so much like banks of a river but opposite ends
From source to lazy delta with lots of busily pointless meandering
In between. On the other hand, taking your time to say what
Needs to be said can be oddly satisfying. There are trees
Down the road that probably have taken decades, maybe centuries
To say something like: Look at this, all this blooming, this leaving!If I knew the language of trees I'd have something to say about them.