Poetry as Divine Madness
It took me years of writing poems before I dared to say “I am a Poet” (with a capitol 'P'). Not out of simple modesty was I holding back – but a deep respect for the art, and also a kind of mild terror (?) at what Poetry does to a poet.
For example: signing the I Am A Poet contract means you agree to the following:
Now you're good to go, having taken the vaccine that will allow you to function inside a state of Divine Madness without losing your mind. You will be able to sing out to whatever muse or divinity may be guiding your writing life:
As a rebellious teenager I read this and thought, “Wait a minute! 'fervor' and 'wonder' are already excessive. You mean Poetry teaches me how to be extreme on purpose without being accused of disobedience, lying or lunacy? Yes, and
Poetry eventually starts demanding you to live up to the part of the contract that says, “make use of this
wild excess you have agreed to nurture inside yourself.” As poet Roya Marsh says, dive deep for
And in a poem I've never finished, another reminder to Poets: