Neil Hester

All poems © Neil Hester unless otherwritten

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Location: North Carolina, United States

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Yeats for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner?

"The differences in approach that are imperceptible to the audience contribute to the uniqueness of a quality writer's work."

"Every piece I've written is a piece that the rest of you are wholly incapable of writing; the same rule applies to all of us [the poets in the Cosmoetica mailing list], as we all, at the very least, have some semblance of talent (and, by extension, unique voice). While the common goal (to produce worthwhile art) is the same, each of us provides a different viewpoint and style, so every worthwhile poem we write has its own unique value. Where does competition come into play? To quote Jess: 'Good poem. Now that's one less for me to write. I'm jealous.' Hooray for constructive sarcasm. Anyhow, if there's a competition or challenge to be had in art, it's an internal one that involves besting yourself whenever possible. Instead of worrying about what other people think, work for self-satisfaction via self-improvement, and work on a personal scale, not one that has 'Great' plastered at the top of it."

The first is quoted from my previous blog entry. The second is my response to a analogy posited in an exchange over the Cosmoetica newsletter that suggested that writing poetry was a competition of sorts. Now, a quote from Jess:

"...one cannot out Stevens Stevens or out Yeats Yeats just as Hester cannot out Schneider Schneider..."

The point is not to best anyone else's personal voice. Any poet who writes quality poetry has his or her own unique worth. Artists shouldn't compete; they should come together, offering each other support and (honest and accurate) criticsm in order to provide a diverse pool of art for people to dive into and explore. Wait, wait- here it comes, the dumb metaphor! Get ready for this- art is food for the soul. Let's say Yeats is bread ('cause his name anagrams into "yeast"); would you want to eat nothing but bread for your entire life? Maybe if you're obsessed with Yeats/yeast. Any sensible person, however, needs an array of different flavors and textures to keep the meals enjoyable. I'll gladly take a little Shelley and Schneider with my Crane (mm, bird) and Yeats (and, perhaps, a bit of Hester on the side ~_^).

In short- art's not a competition, and every time a new artist graces the world with quality art, it's worthwhile, regardless of whether or not that person has reached an "immortal" status, or ever will. So, to all capable artists (especially poets!) out there- look inward, not outward, if you're looking for someone to best.

Take Care,
~Neil

LAEvaside: It's May! [/laevaside]

5 Comments:

Blogger Jessica Schneider said...

Or you could say one might have an itch from a "Yeats Infection...?"

7:24 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

Certainly. You could Frost it to ease the urge to scratch.

Wow, that's stretching it.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Kimly said...

All i have to say is that I understand what you're saying. It's the yeast i can do.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

Oh, Kim =p

10:39 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I love this. It's truth spoken in written word.

Very well done!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

3:25 PM  

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