Poetry and the utterly staggering,gargantuan amount of which is now “published” and made available on-line raises some very interesting issues.None of the questions raised have necessarily any answer to them or a resolution in waiting. Quantity of output/production in any artistic sphere and in any genre of literary arts,does eventually progress and evolve into quality.Little output necessarily entails little quality,unless you happen to be,in sonme respects,a Wolfgang Amadeus. There is a certain democratic ethos operating on social networking sites that cater for aficionadoes of poetry,and that is of itself a plus rather than a minus;but it is a rather insubstantial “plus” nevertheless. The thing about all creativity,all works of art,is that once you show it to people,two,three or more let alone hopefully thousands and then millions,it enters into the public domain;the product,the creation itself is no longer the sole intellectual property of the artist who,in this case penned the poem for personal and private contemplation in the first instance.No-one can share a poem,or for that matter,a painting or a song,without the nature of the relationship of the artist to their work of art being funadamnetally altered. That is the inherent “social” component of all works of art.In general,intellectual and philosophical concepts that underpin and inform the artistic process are scandalously underdeveloped,poorly taught if at all in schools and only ever fleetingly encouraged let alone understood by the very individulas who are motivated to produce art,who feel themselves to be of an artistic bent. The 1st.century Roman statesman and leading Stoic philosopher,Seneca reiterated his wisdom thus,”Nothing worthwhile can be achieved without pain and sacrifice”.Too often,too many artists in a variety of genres and disciplines have misunderstood and misapplied their understanding of this process.Pain and sacrifice of themselves and in isolation do not somehow mechanically or even supernaturally engender art.First comes the artistic impulse,then the pain and sacrifice follow which enable the highly individualistic and autonomous process of artistic creation to come into being. Sitting around and wallowing in no matter how genuinely felt and experienced “suffering” or “pain”,of and by itself is just that.There is no art.The Germans call it Leidenschaft.Schadenfreude is another one of theirs,but that’s for another essay. Of all the rules of thumb and practical editorial advice that can apply in poetry as well as other literary genres, “Less is more”,is perhaps the most’s certainly the one that’s most often disregarded.Schadenfreude?


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