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Writing Philosophy

I see writing as a natural process that doesn't lend itself to philosophy. So I'll start with description. Poetry for me consists of music and implication. With this mind-set and a phrase or notion I begin to write. I enjoy making something out of nothing, a poem often starting in the minutiae of daily life. One word or idea leads, leaps to another, and my pleasure in the tenuous connections keeps me writing. The process alternates between organizing what I've already written down and incorporating new ideas as they come. After several drafts, or sometimes many, my patient work is rewarded. A poem gels, and I know with a rush of satisfaction that it is complete.

An important aspect of my writing is humour. Consider its possibilities: the delight of a love poem doubled by the sparkle of wit, or a somber situation enhanced by irony. Writing provides me with equilibrium in the face of the complicated broader world, which sometimes threatens to overwhelm me.

The struggle to maintain this equilibrium is shown in my long poem, "Truth, Earring, Microwave," originally published as a chapbook by Twoffish Press, 2006; revised and printed as "The Truth and the Earring" in Crackerjack Umbrella, Twoffish Press, 2008.

Related essays

(See www.imaginativeforays.wordpress.com)

  • "Alive, Unique," essay in Imagination in Action, The Mercury Press, November 2007, Carol Malyon, editor.
  • "Intellectual without Content," in MC2, Publication of Mensa Canada; January, 2007
  • "An Urban Perspective," in Urban/Rural: Women, Writing & Place. Living Archives of the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets, 1995

Marvyne Jenoff's works copyright © to the author.


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