I am working on a new poetry manuscript based on older poems written in Delhi, Notre Dame/Mishawaka, and San Francisco. The length of the volume is no problem. Yet, I am finding myself judging this MS-in-incipience somewhat. It feels (though really is not) personal--not that there is anything wrong with poetry that is personal! These poems perhaps do not have the same reach towards the divine, or the imperative for change on earth, which I want to bring more and more into my writing.
I also know I am harshest on what I have already created.
And, that it is not honest to just dismiss these poems. They tracked my growth, my consciousness--my becoming who I am today. So, to honor the journey—to honor, too, all the different poets I have been so I could arrive here. Mine has not been a linear love affair with poetry and literature. I have needed to work through what it means to my life, to my gift and purpose.
Even my going away from certain poetry/writing communities was about acquiring new perspectives and values, about arriving in a place within myself where I would connect to Source, and belong. Having answered the call and made these travels, I can incorporate this signature frequency in what I bring/how I relate with these tribes.
Perhaps what I considered "false" belonging is not so much inauthentic as calling for wisdom to be brung unto it.
My favorite part about a video call with Polish photographer Karolina Gembara—who titles a photo series and a forthcoming photo book after a line from my poem "Capacity"—was how years ago she came across my poem in an anthology at The Bookshop in Jorbagh, took a photo, and kept it with her as she lived and photographed in Delhi.
These are the moments. All heart.
(Though I remain mystified which anthology this must have been, since I don't remember this poem in the anthologies of Indian poetry I know as anthologizing my work!)