Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Wrestling Muses

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Sometimes I think writing poetry is like Jacob wrestling the angel, Poets wrestle the Muses till it taps out, surrendering it’s secret language. I used to think that poems had to be waited for, now I think that’s a lot of crap. Now I think it’s a lot of work and I believe the more you work at it the more it might improve, needless to say I have a lot of work ahead of me. I might be biased here, because I never expected to make it to the age I am now, but I think the most interesting writing comes from older poets. Youth has so little to say, and there are some things in my youth I never want to speak of, ok I am biased. Writing for me is an exploration of language and its meaning, sound, symbol, emotion, tone. The more I explore the more I believe poetry is the language of the universe, the one that the universe can hear, even dance its sacred dance. Poetry contains its own intensity. Poems require this to reveal a particular moment in the state of the universe. For me poetry answers back to the sound of creation, God or whatever that thing is that kills us. Whenever someone discovers I’m a poet they seem to be expecting something like “When are you going to write a novel?” I feel poetry is not taken as serious writing, answer: “I’m a poet I’m not going to write a fuckin novel-I write poetry”. There is nothing magical about it, it mostly discipline and commitment. Touching the universe requires the deepest commitment and a shit load of spirits. Poets work just as hard at their craft as anyone because poetry is the raw meat for the most primitive parts of the soul. Poetry speaks with the metaphysical mind and it was the metaphysical mind that created the rational mind and language, poets speak with the metaphysical mind. And that’s where the work comes in; in a world where we are taught the rational (which sometimes lacks common sense) and a particular view of reality. I believe poetry can make a alternate view of reality, reality becomes fluid like truth or time, it changes our perception. Makes the world more interesting, we see it with the spirit, instead of the eyes. Perhaps this is why some people are waiting for a novel that will never appear, it’s safer. An attempt to make poetry into a commodity. What makes a good poet? Good rum, good vodka, good tequila, anything that makes you good and drunk, makes a good poet.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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David Groulx

Award-winning poet David Groulx's most recent poetry collection, Rising with a Distant Dawn, is published by BookLand Press. David’s poetry has also appeared in over a hundred periodicals in Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Austria, Turkey and the USA. He lives in Ottawa.

Go to David Groulx’s Author Page