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RICHARD WILSON MOSS.

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 8/10/2014 |

             REDEFINING LITERATURE


Literature, in a writer's attempt to portray human existence, always fails. But it must fail. Without this failure it is morass, dull, and worth nothing. There is the reality of the human condition and then there is literature. Creative writing, poetry or prose, in and of itself was never meant to convey anything at all of the real world. In the trials and tribulations of the writer, from what he creates, something emerges, though two dimensional at best, something we will never quite grasp, of magnitude undefined and elusive. This is literature. All else is merely entertainment, not much more than a comic book.

In great literature, the main characters come to know the heroism and villainy within themselves, what they are and what they are not and have never been. It lends to the reader the concept of introspection, a different if not truer identification, of looking in the mirror while dressed in their best, and seeing for the first time their own naked self.

In my attempt to express that which cannot be expressed (my definition of a good poem), I always find that the pursuit of being successful in writing ends only in the endless chase of failure. If I ever truly succeed, then I will stop writing. What lurks within forever eludes perfect expression. The endless and fruitless search within myself is my only motivation to write.

A poem is not a portrait of life, not an expression of purpose, not an intellectual exercise, nor an emotional outburst; a good poem is the inconceivable conceived. And once written, this thing that cannot be, finds its own life, its own breath and being. This offspring of the poet, upon birth, belongs to no one and yet may become a part of everyone.

Sometimes I find the poet takes him or herself too seriously. Prose and poetry are wonderful and the stuff of our dreams, but it is not everything. Life is everything. Love is everything. You and I are everything and we together are not hardly defined by a paragraph or a line of verse. When a poet finds all that he creates is no more or less than the creation of a blade of grass, then the poet is free to attempt to express what is within. Upon discovery of humility, the chains of self-worth are less constricting. My sentiments expressed perfectly by Dylan Thomas: “Poetry is not the most important thing in life...I'd much rather lie in a hot bath reading Agatha Christie and sucking sweets.”






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