On Poetry and Culture Shock

There are three types of artists

There are three types of artists Cartoons drawn in the back of business cards.

There are three ways of being creative. I don’t mean ways of creating, since those are nearly infinite. I mean there are three ways of being a creative person. I know three people that exemplify each way.

The Elusive Poet writes poetry. It is personal, hard to understand, and surrealist. It is very important to him but no one is allowed to read it; sometimes he'll recite a bit to a very close friend. What is important to him is creation. Plenty of people create so that they can “let out” something trapped inside; of course the results can be too personal to show.

My second example is a rapper. Spanish rap has a tiny but fanatical audience, apart from the yearly sudden success created by the whims of the record companies. Toteking has published 2 CDs, one with his brother and the other one solo. Some of his lyrics are personal, some aren’t, and in many, content is next to irrelevant (as opposed to form, which is everything). I haven’t seen him in ages, but as far as I know, he's given at least one concert if not more every week of the last three years. He despises the attitude of creative people who don't try to make money out of their art, which is why he said I should write a novel instead of short stories and poetry. To him everyone who does not try to make a profit from their creativity is either very stupid, or hypocritical, o snobbish. I wonder in which category he puts me.

I don't think either of them is wrong. Guy One enjoys what he does and no one these days is going to become suddenly rich by publishing poetry. Tote has lots of fun, and a bit of money is never a bad thing. Now the third example. That’s me. I don’t know or care if I can make money with what I do. I don’t know very well why I do it. What I do know is that I need it to be seen. I work a lot better and faster with audience and feedback, even if it is negative. Sometimes as I write I think, "is this good enough to show to this or that person?" Other times, someone’s comments on my work inspires even more work.

That's one of the reasons to blog: It seems a wonderful way to let others read me. And you can just click there and say anything, from “your haikus are trash” or recommendations or critiques or anything. Like a public poetry reading without the snobbery (I hope) and the free food (but if you live in Ithaca, that can be fixed: do you want to go out for lunch sometime? Heh).

3 comentarios

A passer by -

Thanks for your answer! I somehow imagined that Filología Inglesa thing. Well, I don\'t know how I got to your blog, but it\'s very interesting(and very useful(reading in english is always good)). Bye!

La Guiri -

Absolutely. Do you know that bit when he says "Puedo ser em próximo profesor de inglés de tu hijo"? We were classmates when both of us were studying Filología Inglesa. Then I graduated and we didn't stay in contact.

A passer by -

Are you saying that you know Tote King in person?