‘That Damned Mania to Write’

“Serving of Hat with a Side of Smile,” 16×20 in., oil on canvas (JMN 2022)

Once upon a time (Érase una vez…, they say in Spanish), I couldn’t conceive of settling for less than being a published poet. I was too callow and unstable, however, to give the project sustained hard work.

I’m content now to approach poetry as a reader, but still have a touch of what Javier Sánchez describes as “that damned mania to write.” For me the mania asserts itself as an impulse to record whatever stirs, as well as perplexes, me as I try to construe what the poets say and how they achieve their effects.

French thinker René Girard wrote, Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind.* Such a stance strikes me as supine, and I row against it.

(*Quoted by David Brooks, “What the Beatles Tell Us About Fame,” NYTimes, 2-10-22)

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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