Louise Glück, the 12th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry (2003-2004), enchants with her following words on the impact of the involvement with art:
It seems to me that the desire to make art produces an ongoing experience of longing, a restlessness sometimes, but not inevitably, played out romantically, or sexually. Always there seems something ahead, the next poem or story, visible, at least, apprehensible, but unreachable. To perceive it all is to be haunted by it; some sound, some tone, becomes a torment – the poem embodying that sound seems to exist somewhere already finished. It’s like a lighthouse, except that, as one swims toward it, it backs away.
The seed of the desire of which Glück speaks has been in me for so long that the resulting anguish leaves me restive – always. I am then “haunted by some sound [and] some tone,” but the “already finished” poem withdraws itself from my embrace as I risk my soul by letting it draw near it.
It was the sound and the sight of a waltz this time that hurled me into the open sea with the teasing promise of a beacon after the reach of which that elusive object of ultimate fulfillment would await me.
While Andre Rieu‘s mesmerizing illumination of The Second Waltz by Dmitri Shostakovich has instantly refined that desired sensation in me of creating a poem, one never materialized before this week’s post. The following lines I have penned, however, suggest to me that I will not abandon the commitment I made to my yearning for it . . .