Sunday, June 22, 2008

Who do you write for?

The question of who one is writing for is of great importance to almost all forms of writing, all genres,-except poetry. Now this I believe is a very controversial stance. I was reading the blog of Ram Gopan Varma and his discussion on ` Hits and Flops' and I remembered Marianne Moore's profound observation ( noted by Prof Harold Bloom in the Western Canon) that one only writes for oneself and for strangers. When you are writing a newspaper article you have a approximate image of the reader in your mind which comes close to the actual reader. But when you are writing poetry, its only you and the language, the most social of all social institutions. You never know who reads your works. Often it happens that only the poets read poetry and I am sure if your poetry is good they are NOT going to like it at all ( envy you see Sick) and if your work is really bad than you can end up with lots of praise from your poet friends) Wink. Your readers are never the people whom you know because 1) most of them give a damn for creative and serious poetry 2) and those who do feel that you are their rival because they are mostly other poets!! If a poet says that he is writing only for himself, he of course lying and if a poet says that he writes for others, probably he is a bad writer. Conclusion: One always writes for oneself and for strangers. No one could have put it better than Ms. Moore

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