The Poet’s Journey

I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday who is an award-winning poet with several collections published by a prestigious academic press.  She talks frequently about being depressed and frustrated as a writer, so I finally asked her about the source of the frustration.  Her reply was very intriguing.  She said her frustration comes from knowing that her words never get her quite to the place deep inside herself that she wants to find, explore, and reveal.  She gets close, but never has a sense of fulfillment.  The depression comes from the fear that she never will get there.

Perhaps her work is actually so good (and it is) because she is on a quest for something that will continue to elude her for the rest of her life, and she is not a young woman.  I am not suggesting that she is fighting the proverbial windmills, but I do think she is on a magnificent journey without necessarily knowing the intended destination.  Maybe that is, and always has been, the case with all good artists — the final destination is determined not by the traveler, but by the observers of the voyage after it is over.

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