April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
-T.S. Eliot “The Waste Land”
Today in my Poems about Cities class we are reading Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” I feel that the description of April is so appropriate for we find ourselves in April. The tease of April shows how transition is cruel and unforgiving. The snow has melted and all we are left to see is that lying beneath is death and decay left by our protective white covering. Snow protects us, and now it is gone. Our memories of days lost are evoked and our desire to reach our state of childhood again is fueled.
“The Waste Land,” is a very confusing piece of literature. Someone in my class referred to it as “Pretentious Persons Porn.” A high brow exposure of the failure of human sexuality. Yet, thought provoking and worthy of examination, in my opinion.
I feel most at home with a pen resting within my hand, or keys eagerly awaiting beneath my fingertips to be poked and prodded into prose.
Recently, I read an essay by George Orwell entitled “Why I Write.” Initially, he walks his reader through his childhood and the moment he discovered joy for “mere words.” It made me think about why I have chosen to write. Why from the ripe age of 7 I have kept a journal noting every menial event of my life. Or what my motive was at the age of 18 to yearn to become a journalist.
I then began to think about WHAT I write. I compose music and lyrics, which to some has poetic qualities while I completely reject the idea of writing a poem and I solely gravitate toward prose. Now, I flea also from journalistic writing. It lacks heart and character. It’s sole purpose is to inform and remain objective. I spent four years in a newsroom attempting to keep up with the hustle and bustle of every day tragedies and moments of public interest. My once idealized vision of writing for a cities head newspaper slowly dripped away, leaving me still with my fiery passion for words.
Now, I write for myself. I dream of writing a collection of short stories about, well, anything. I no longer have to please an editor of the mass public. No longer is my work being compromised for lack of space due to a large advertisement, or for the opinion of one of my fellow journalists being more worthy of the space.
So, maybe it doesn’t really matter WHY I write. Maybe al that matters is that I have now found a way to write. Or, even more simply, let it just be that I do write.
He doesn’t see how great he is. He looks in the mirror and sees years of mistakes, times in which he should have made a different decision. He regrets his past. He fears his future. He doubts his abilities.
But, all I see is perfection.