Friday, January 15, 2010

Motherhood and Writing Poetry

Thanks to cornshake for pointing to this essay by Sarah Vap, published in Blackbird, on the subject of writing poetry as a mother. This is a fabulous piece, filled with so many moments where I shouted (in my mind) -- YES!!!

An excerpt:

I could tell my husband that I don’t write anymore, that I don’t think anymore, and that my mind is ruined for poetry. I could say that I can’t hold anything inside of my mind except for him and our sons. I could tell him that I don’t even care because our family—he, Oskar, this new baby boy inside of me—these are all that can matter. These are all that I can attend to. All I’d ever want to attend to again.

But what I actually believe is that I have, truly and simply, lost my mind.

But what I actually believe is that I have acquired and lost minds, like set after set of baby teeth, many times throughout my life. I believe all of my minds still exist, resonant palimpsests, within and out of my body.

What I actually believe is my new mind has a different holding quality. A different releasing quality. A different relationship with Time, who hangs my own childhood next to my son’s—our minds and memories are dozens of sheer sheets buffeting and curling in the wind—and we look through them all as we live.

What I actually believe is that I have a brand-new mind, born around the time Oskar was born.

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