I met with the most common question today, and I left with the same question. Why do I write dark and gloomy poetry? I was, for the first time without words and so was Jane (our beloved poet and critic). She asked me why?
It looked like a scene out of a Shakespearean tragedy, there was everything: A renowned poet, a wannabe poet and a common court jester who knew nothing of the poetry and yet thought she knew everything. I had no answer really, it was like being the mean bully who walks up to a kid with a pink balloon and is one pin prick away from innocent tears. Jane looked visibly hurt. “She fails She fails” I had written, then I wondered was I even right in giving her the poem. But for me it was a rescue line. Dark poets never WANT to write dark things, they just do because their creativity almost never manifests itself otherwise.
My words almost never think of anything else. Why didn’t I think of the pink dress in a party and saw the futility of a society’s desperate need to socialize instead? I would never really know the answer to that. No I don’t see the glass half empty, I find the beauty and opportunity in that emptiness.
I don’t believe I’m a hero of the melancholy on the contrary, the poem was meant to be a hand out to be rescued. Dear Jane, I don’t want to be the tortured poet who has tears in her eyes every time she writes a poem, who feels like she is stuck in a bell jar looking at the world every time there is a celebration of joy. Perhaps I want to be that little kid with the pink balloon. Perhaps I want a world of rainbows and sunshine and feel creative in such a world.
Somerset Maugham once wrote about how writers write because they want to, but he writes because he has to. Do I write because I have to? Or do I wait for the world to tell me a story? Do I find the dark corners everywhere because the light petrifies me? or do I try to find the beauty in the dark because THAT is a bigger challenge?
Who is the hero, the one who finds the silver lining when there is none or the ones that dance in the sunlight pretending darkness doesn’t exist??