Method not a method

Teaching? .... I could probably teach grammar & composition. If I had to, & if I prepared myself, I could probably teach a passable intro course in history, philosophy, theology, literature...

Yes, I could teach grammar & composition, and I could teach literature, but I don't think I could teach poetry writing. Why not? Because the only method I know is inspiration. & inspiration is not a method. & most of the "methods" taught in poetry writing classes just get in the way of inspiration.

As I understand it, poetry is deeply-rooted in something you might call "breaking-into-song." No one breaks into song without being lifted-up, being inspired. There is something holy, sacred, & surrounded-by-fire in this experience, this song-rapture. The words, the poems, the traces of such inspiration give off the heat & light of that experience, & are tinctured with that "divinity", that sacred awe, that... apartness, strangeness...

Don't get me wrong : I don't think inspiration is a replacement or short-cut for craft & hard work. I just tend to think that that kind of labor - the path from "grammar & composition" to inspiration to finished work of art - is best struggled at sort of privately & indirectly. You must wrestle with the angel to win your birthright. Not necessarily in solitude, by any means : but it should be an individual artistic search. Otherwise there are too many middle-people involved, muddling up the distinction between writing true poetry and versifying, between inspiration & method.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but this is how I've always understood poetry. & I can't teach inspiration : I can hardly ever find it myself.

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