On learning to make art

Or, practice is a necessary prerequisite for excellence

September 10, 2015Filed under artMarkdown source

I would not say the poem I posted today is particularly good—but I wrote it, and that is something. I want to be writing longer-form, narrative poetry, and this has a little more of that than what I have been doing lately. I need to start using constraining forms (and especially historical forms) once more: that makes for richer, better poetry from me.

This is significant: we learn how to do certain kinds of creative work (perhaps all creative work!) by closely following the forms and approaches of those who preceded us. This is just as true of composing music as of poetry.


An aside: the fact that the final words of the first and third, and second and fourth stanzas of that poem are the is a total coincidence. There is a greater degree of serendipity in art—or at least, in my art—than would boost my ego to let on. But ego-boosting be damned.