Thursday, October 12, 2006

listening to the ocean's voice today

I've been musing for a bit about the idea of authentic voice. Reading some poets, even blind readings (where no name is attached) such as those in judging (done a little bit of that over the years), or playful ones (Cordite -Malley issue where as Loolila, I nailed it with John Kinsella) - that allow for a reading which can be felt as familiar or recognisable and suggest the poet who could be the author. This recognition could be an indication of the poet's authentic voice. It could be an indication of the skill of the reader. Perhaps, the reader has read everything published by one or more authors. Small things would then stand out, craft and language use, referencing, issues of content and interest. Other things. It is just more likely, that the volume of writing, published writing, is the thing, if one is to have an authentic voice that others can hear.

I'm at a bit of a stillpoint myself with the idea of publishing further work. It is disheartening and time consuming to be working up a manuscript, editing it, sending it out, following it through, paying for a small chapbook, a full book, going with a half and half with a publisher, having an angel descend perhaps, and a major publisher cover costs. Does one stop publishing and just write? Does one write and pay? Does one dream of the 'being taken up by the angel'?
How will anyone know or recognise a silent voice? Is publishing the only answer to writing?
Does publishing the work make it better? Can a true and authentic voice exist, even if none hear it?

...today the waves are still moving in on the shore.
Not big roaring, bursting waves. Small waves coming in,
and the sound is absolutely recognisable. This shore is not
facing out towards open water. The waves are broken up and subdued
by the reef and the islands further out. These waves,
by location in this geography, will always arrive more quietly.
On this shore today and every other day like today,
the waves will make this sound...

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