Written for: dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics: Your Poetic Hum (posted by Gina)
“In September 2018, I bookmarked an article that fascinated me. It was titled:
Is it OK to be a writer and a __________? Written by Laurie Patton.
It was “an essay about continuous identity in a world which constantly asks us to align the self with its occupation.”
The writer asks us pertinent questions about the dual lives we lead, the writing life versus the non-creative writing occupation. She mentions famous poets and writers who lived “one identity at a time and also those who chose multiple identities” concurrently.
The part of the article that held my attention was the “tanpura principle in writing”. I quote her below:”
“The tanpura is a long-necked, lute-like instrument in Indian music that sustains the other instruments by providing a drone. Tanpura players do not provide their own melody, but pluck the instrument’s four strings in a continuous loop of rich tones, to provide a base from which the soloist can draw in singing or playing the raga melody.
The Tanpura Principle in writing is the idea that much of writing occurs while doing something else, because the base of poetic inspiration, the supporting drone, is always there…….. in poetry there was a kind of harmonic listening that could occur anywhere, and in any way.
What is the poetic hum in your life? What hums in the background of your life that inspires you as you unconsciously listen while you work and live? Is the drone always there or do you have to cultivate the inspiration?
In the midst of office politics–
overworked, gossip buzzing
around me like black flies–
my discontentment invited
daydreams. Images formed
needing words. At first
that satiric sword of
blackness began to cut
a swath through desks,
papers, and voices
that grated. Short tales,
silly stories, and lives
I had never lived. Writing
courses allowed voices to
integrate with mine.
Retirement gave me time,
and leisure to bounce along
on varying writing paths.
I finally stopped my searching
at poetry, a form that fit me, that widened
my imagination. Purple ink flowed.