“Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.”
- Alice Walker
There is a danger of becoming stuck and doing the same old painting or poem, with small variations, too often. It’s a challenge to notice where it’s okay to repeat oneself and when it’s not, to avoid becoming jaded, to rise to higher peaks and reach for the new, infusing the work with freshness. Don’t most of us risk falling into ruts whatever we do? It’s hard to push oneself forwards into something new, but vital if we are not to bore ourselves or our readers and viewers. We must seek to ever widen our skills and insights if we are to raise our consciousness, rebel and revolt against that which is negative.
Whilst proof reading my book I noticed that I have some favourite words - life, love, passion, rebirth, ecstasy, beauty to name a few. I wondered if this was a good or a bad thing, even though they’re pleasant and positive words. I also noticed I use these words in similar rhymes and themes. Likening these words to paint colours, most artists develop a style and colour palette where they use the same colours over and over again, often with the same subject.
In that respect, writers have their own styles, and I perceive my poetry is like my paintings, having the same vivid energy but using different techniques, rhythms and themes in the way the words are put together. My style is a strong palette and definite shapes, but I would get bored painting the same subject ceaselessly. I need to experiment with different mediums and work in a variety of ways. There are certain things that always work for us, like placing a small highlight of a favourite warm yellow onto a cloud to show the sun striking it, which is like using a pet word to highlight a meaning in a flow of words. The same could be said for the rhythm of the rhymes or the way non rhyming poems work, repeating the techniques that worked before.
My conclusion is that we have to watch ourselves carefully. Whilst keeping what works, we should always push the boundaries, take risks and go a little further, letting our styles and skills evolve and so retain life energy and vibrancy in our creations.