because it sounds like some vague literary term, or a pernicious disease

Your Poems Are Like A Dark City Centre

with one comment

It occured to me after I had a conversation with a friend where it was mentioned that they have only allowed one other person to read their poetry, that writing is rather like getting naked in front of a stranger. By that token is asking someone if you can read what they have written rather like asking them to stand naked in front of you? This is like asking questions in a letter, but onwards anyway.

When I read a story or a poem that I really, really like, I do tend to get a sense of the writer themselves, which often encourages me to go in search of more information about them, which pushes me more towards reading those writers that have passed.  The reason for this is two-fold. One, there is usually more information available on an individual once they have passed, and two, the information available is usually very, very interesting.

Writing is rather like standing naked in front of a stranger, in how it is very hard to write without judging yourself, feeling vulnerable and as though every flaw is being scrutinized, and not kindly at that.

There are certain writers that stay with you, Steinbeck for example with Cannery Row and East of Eden and The Pearl. Sylvia Plath and her attempts to drown herself only to be bobbed up and out of the ocean like a cork in The Bell Jar. The Tropic of Cancer and the whole “I can shoot hot bolts into you, Tania.” bit. These are the examples that come to mind for me now, without having to refer to my notes or book shelf, however there are scads of others which makes blogging about books easy, because I can always find something to ramble on about.

There is an intimacy that develops between writer and reader, a level of trust that the writer has to have to stand for all intents naked in front of their audience, and a certain tenderness required on the part of the reader. The tenderness is required because even if you didn’t love the book, there is a desire, at least for me, to not judge too harshly, to still love the writer for the effort.

I have now completely dissolved into a puddle of literary love.


Written by Lindsey

June 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I let my friend read one of my novels recently. It was the first time I’d let someone other than myself read any of my lengthly fiction, and it was a bizarre experience. It’s not only being naked in front of someone, but if they can honestly tell you what they thought about it, they’re getting naked too. Because getting something out of words is almost as revealing as writing them down in the first place.

    So you’re both naked, and someone reading someone else’s writing is basically fucking.


    June 23, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: