Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cathartic Writing

What exactly does it mean when people tell you that they like your poems but that they might be just a little too dark? What does this say about you?

First off, let me tell you about the dark poems in question. During my research for one of them, I found that Jack the Ripper was extremely disturbed, and after looking at some of the old crime scene photographs (yes, there was such a thing back then), I wasn't really sure whether I wanted a poem about such a person anyway. But it was already there, I had begun writing it before I had actually researched anything, and it was too good to simply be deleted. I worked with it, played with it. (Play being the keyword here...) And, after all, the myth and mystery is just tangible, alone the Dear Boss and From Hell letters are enough to spark anyone's imagination.

In the other poem, I just worked with my current pet peeve, Red Riding Hood. I mean, seriously, we all know that fairy tales don't really deserve a PG-13 rating, don't we?

Well. I write poetry with a dark streak. I write disturbed poetry. I don't think I'd really argue that point. But I'd add that I also write poetry about people and the clockwork of their minds. Also, I would ask what it means that I write dark poetry and that there are readers out there who like reading it.

I think that of course, there is catharsis in reading, in drama. The Greeks knew it. Aristotele knew it. However, to no lesser degree, there is also catharsis in writing, and writing dark. This is one of the reasons why I like (writing) dark stuff.

Don't be afraid of the dark now. It's just your imagination.

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