Photo by Kenneth Van SickleThis fall, I need to choose a senior study topic and a senior creative project. Creatively I’m choosing to focus on poetry. There are other projects I could work on. I write prose, essays, and short stories as well, but poetry seems to come easily and I don’t care so much if its someone else’s idea of “good” the way I do with other approaches to writing. I want to get my degree with the least amount of stress. You might say that I ought to pick the creative context in which I most need to learn. You would be right, but I’ve learned to teach myself to write better by reading and studying the work of other writers. The key is reading, studying and emulating. I do not need the college to accomplish that. I just need to do it. Thus, I can choose to enjoy this course work. I wrote my first poem in 1998 after my mother died. I wrote it about her body and her death. It was an homage to her life and my love for her. I didn’t write another poem until about three or four years later, following a vision which woke me in the night; causing me to spark all over the place creatively and emotionally. Again, I didn’t write another poem until 2006 when I started to write erotic poetry in which I tried to capture the spiritual and emotional essence of the erotic experience. I began to write spiritual poetry as well, in which I related to a sense of place. In college, I’ve written poems about other things, such as Christmas (even though I am Buddhist), or politics, or cats or even little boys. I often find myself composing a poem, so it seems the gentlest way to conduct this final year of study. I really enjoy reading poetry, so its fun to study it also. I am less willing to immerse myself in a novel or an essay or a memoir I don’t care for, whereas,  the brevity of a poem I don’t like is easy enough to tolerate and I may learn something. It interests me to study women’s poetry especially. I thought it might be interesting to study women Pulitzer winners and other feminist poets.

As part of this creative project, I’ll be generating a chap book. This means that its a hand made book without an ISBN for formal sales. In other words its a cottage industry style book. I plan to make maybe one or two dozen. I’m excited to do that. I also plan to work on the college literary magazine. That will be a great pleasure.

Then there’s the senior study in which I’m supposed to conduct research and write a thesis on a specific subject. I’m less clear about that. I have some topics in mind, but no specific spark that leads to a thesis to research. One idea is “what does it mean to be white?” After doing so much research on the idea of color blind racism last semester, I have come to contemplate the reasons why others are defining that for me. Shouldn’t I do that myself?

In any case, these are some of my current rambling thoughts. Not sexy, but creative and beautiful.

 

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