a writer's pages

Suzanne Baldwin Leitner

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There is a mutable and persistent ache, sometimes caused by joy, sometimes caused by loss, that I cannot quite reach, either to salve or to savor. My poetry is the act of me trying ...  

As for the fiction and essay writing, I come from a long line of storytellers. Don't you?
"The excitement of writing a poem, or the draft of a poem, overshadows the worry about whether it is 'good.' When I show something to my poetry group and have to begin by saying, 'I’m not even sure this is a poem,' I know that even if this thing isn’t a poem, there is something within it that wants to be. If both that 'something' and I want it to 'be' badly enough, a poem will happen.

"Anxious distraction, however, often prevents me from writing poetry. I require some space and some silence so that a poem can ferment, perhaps akin to the tranquility Wordsworth was describing in the preface to Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads.

"Poetry is always trying to strike a balance between experience and reflection. For me, though, distraction is not always the enemy. Sometimes it is my friend. Anxious distractions may one day be the inspiration for a poem. Some distractions are far less profound. Benign distractions can also be a writer's friend. Sometimes, in performing mundane and mindless chores, lightning strikes, and I have to find a pen. So if I am struggling with a poem, I give myself permission to get up and walk away ..."

(taken from a February 2010 blog post entitled Knowing and Taming the Enemies. For more of Suzanne's reflections, personal philosophy, and flirtation with mild neurosis, please visit her blog, Talking to Myself)  
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