The primary purpose of this post is to share a link with you. It’s to an article (or rather a list) by the poet DH Maitreyabandu called ’13 Ways of Making Poetry a Spiritual Practice’ and you can read it by clicking the link to it at the bottom of this post.
Maitreyabandu has also written an article in Poetry Review (Volume 101:1 spring 2011) entitled ‘The Provenance Of Pleasure’ which I would equally recommend.
Both theses articles were published some time ago and if you follow the Magma blog and/or have access to Poetry Review then you may have read them before, but I think they are worth revisiting.
I recognised the content of the Magma piece as relevant to my own relationship with poetry, exploring as it does both potential positive and negative ways of thinking and feeling about writing poetry- these words seem inadequate in this context- perhaps I should say ‘living’ poetry – including the concept of ‘success’ and dissatisfaction.
I found it useful to remind myself of central aspects of my practice, those that I wish to cultivate and maintain, and also to recognise those which are not helpful. If this all sounds rather serious, well, it is. But seriousness in any relationship doesn’t have to result in the exclusion of fun or playfulness. I know that I will not always be mindful of what is important, or to live my best intensions.
The important thing is recognise and aspire to a truer and purer relationship with poetry, and to embrace and practice ways in which this might happen. 13 ways of working on this are suggested here.