Solveig's Trail

Monday, 30 January 2012

There is an opaqueness here
that is hard to accept.
It is light and thick,
it dances behind your eyes
like cold water
ready to relieve the pressure
of the whole universe.

You are afraid that if you breath out
the symmetry of things will dissolve,
you will make the stars collapse,
the seams come undone.
And you will only be left
with a sideways glimpse of a light
that does not know how to
sit still.

You feel yourself wading in
wordless exaltation.
It teases you with the
promise of expression,
and then lies sprawled at your feet
in defeat.

Is it possible to capture it embodied
while being suspended in an abstract interlude?
It is a second skin of persistent consciousness
that doesn't want to be named.

If the music moves to its own rhythm,
so does life.
And the two briefly meet on your fingers,
touching each note in
physical sympathy.

What is this rhythm for
if not to make you more of yourself?
What is this rhythm for
if not to splinter you in time
and remind you of the delusion
of wholeness?

It is like wholeness within fragmentation,
and you think,
this is what life is for.
You will sit through as much daily boredom
as is required of beings,
if only this wordless splinter
will maintain its hold
for just
one more minute.

I will rise with you,
and fall with you,
so say the notes.
I will build an architecture
of the senses for you,
and I will lead you to a wall
where you will stop, weep, and want.

The world is momentarily cupped in your ear,
and nothing else needs to move,
or speak,
in Solveig's trail.

* * *

I know it's not Wednesday today for Poetry Wednesday, but I really just wanted to post this poem today, which I wrote last night while listening to Grieg's Solveig's Song. If you'd like to listen to it too, here it is:

I feel this intense fear everytime I press the 'publish' button on posts which contain my 'poems'. I'm still reluctant to call whatever these writings are 'poems', because I feel that real poetry is better than this. The thing is, I'm frustrated with myself because as much as these words are honest, they still seem to me to be steeped in cliche that is hard to move beyond as a writer. I wish there was an easier way of finding your own language and style without a somewhat embarrassing process of trial and error, but for me, there isn't.

I feel that so many writers try to find their own voice by imitating other writers they admire, and this often has an alienating tone to it. I'm trying to drown out other voices when I write, I'm trying to just say what I want to say without thinking about form, structure and the dreaded question of whether it's any 'good'. Maybe in ten years I'll be able to call what I write 'poems' without flinching. But for now, I think I will settle for that feeling of relief that comes with the process of emptying your mind for a little while. The process is what gives me the most pleasure, as opposed to the final product. But the final product is 'proof', right?


Stephanie said...

This is so beautiful. I'm so glad you shared this today.

I get nervous any time I publish ANY post. I don't know why. But I love what you said in that last paragraph. The process is what it's all about.

Hotly Spiced said...

I don't think your writing is cliched at all. I know the feeling though of writing something that I think is pretty good, then I revisit it some time later and think it's just awful. I don't think you are alone when it comes to hesitating before pushing the 'publish' button. I even do it with comments!

Fabiola Gordillo said...


Petra said...

it's a beautiful poem!

I know what you mean about 'finding your voice'. it's harder for some, easier for others. but I guess we just have to keep going, and eventually we will shine through whatever else there is. it's a journey.

Camila Faria said...

I think you're a wonderful writer. This is so so beautiful, thanks for sharing.

angela said...

It's a beautiful poem, you are a a great writer! Don't doubt yourself!
Thank you for reminding us of International Holocaust Remeberence Day, your entry was very moving.

Sasha said...

I can relate to that feeling in regard to personal work. I must say, however, that this is beautiful. Your words gave me a sense of thoughtful comfort that was much needed. In that way, I do think it is good art. Thank you for sharing.

ps. I haven't seen Chanel and Stravinsky but I've put it on my to-watch list!

Pinelopi said...

I find your poem and your writing in generall really beautiful. I don't believe that you don't have a personal voice that is unique. Only we all need a time of experience and maturity, so that your expression is more fit for you and that you will feel that is what you tried to form for so much time.
People change in time and so do their expression and worldview. Don't worry and don't be disappointed, you are really good at it and you will soon enough establish your unique way of saying what you want to.

B said...

This is actually a beautiful poem; don't be too hard on yourself. I can only dream of writing poetry. I do not have the courage to attempt it, because I know I would fail myself.

On another note, I don't think there's anything wrong at all with imitation - as a place to begin. After all, it's how we learn any new skill, from childhood onwards.

Chuck said...

Even if you haven't found your voice yet you have a lovely way with language. Such sounds... I love very aural poetry.

And you are one step closer with everything you write, I think. Just write more and more. Except after reading something brilliant! I always find myself mimicking whatever I've just finished if I loved it...

Good luck. x

Lemon said...

Even though I love poetry, I often skip over poems unless I am hooked by the first couple lines (there are just to many boring "poems" in this world!). I was *captured* by your flow of thoughts. Keep writing the way you are ("just emptying your mind") because the truthfulness of it is intriguing/wonderful.

Zoƫ said...

Well I love it! I'm no poetry critic, so I can't say much except that when I read it life slowed down for a moment. I was surprised when I got to the end and you said you had just written it. So much of poetry and writing that is featured is old, the artists already dead. It it refreshing and surprising to have fresh words!

Hila said...

Stephanie: I'm glad I'm not the only one, I always feel so silly.

Hotly Spiced: ha, we are a pair :) At least we care enough to be afraid! I very rarely have that feeling of 'gee, I've written something good'. Most of the time I feel like, 'crap, I've written something bad/boring'.

Fabiola: thank you!

Petra: I envy other people sometimes, but even the envy seems immature - after all, we don't really know what's going on in someone else's head, or what their process is really like.

Camila: thank you :)

Angela: thank you for reading it!

Sasha: if I made you feel like that, I'm happy. And yes, do watch that film and let me know what you think.

Pinelopi: I probably do have a voice at the moment, but it's an immature one - one that is still probing and learning. I hope to be better.

B.: yes, you make a fair point - imitation can be a great learning tool.

Chuck: me too, I think I'm too impressionable when it comes to words. I wonder sometimes if I unconsciously imitate.

Lemon: thank you, this made my day!

Zoe: yes, I think we should try to write our own, alongside homages to the past.

SARAH said...

There's a poet somewhere in time who once said that there is only one poem, and we are only writing that same one over and over again. I think this saying is a way of understanding that something that may seem cliche and done-before, despite your best honesty, may be the resonance of the oldest, deepest emotions, which never change. Keep writing your beautiful poems.

Hila said...

Sarah: Thank you - I hope that's true, because that's certainly comforting and makes me feel better about my somewhat awkward 'style'.

Meg Paley said...

This is beautiful, truly. Your style is so comfortable and eloquent, I love it!

Hila said...

Meg: Thank you for saying so!