Saturday, November 7, 2009

127) claudia rankine

the literary life 11/7/09

Here's a link below to a transcript of an interview with poet and writer, Claudia Rankine. I enjoyed reading it. I like how she describes the creative process as "organic" just as "life is organic." I'm beginning to see this in my writing and career choices as well. In the pull to belong, I often rush to label myself: poet, for instance; or teacher. But life, like creativity, is organic. It's hard to separate the fragments from the whole. Our lives evolve just like our projects evolve. For me, the work has begun with poetry and teaching, but who knows where this will lead me? I could be a librarian writing a non-fiction memoir in two years. Would the labels really matter? Would I still be me? Each day is new, and we can't control our creative impulses. Shifts are natural; however, reading Rankine's interview made me think that whatever we do that is creative (be it a job, cooking a meal, writing in various genres) stems from the same place inside. And I have to say that despite accepting the shifting nature of life, I do hold on to the romantic sense of a stable identity. I still hold on to the idea that there is something core that defines us, that compels us. For me, this has and always will be poetry. No matter what I write, no matter what day job I find myself in, no matter how my priorities shift, I wear the poet lens. I honor it.

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