A real diehard, indestructible, irresolvable obsession in a poet is nothing less than a blessing. The poet with an obsession never has to search for subject matter. It is always right there, welling up like an Artesian spring on a piece of property with bad drainage.
- Tony Hoagland, Real Sofistikashun
One of the things I did this summer was to look at all the poetry I have written as a body of work, rather than as disparate, random poems. Put it in piles, sort it by themes. I ended up with five main piles — poems of human dysfunction; relationship poems; motherhood poems; God-shaped poems and existential/human condition poems.
I was certainly surprised by the first and the fourth categories. But I wouldn’t call any one of them an “obsession.”
Sometimes I convince myself that all this time I’ve only been picking at the edges of a scab with this poetry lark and that somewhere there is indeed an obsession lurking. And that I should just bite the bullet and rip it off.
The scab, I mean. To get the Artesian spring of obsession going.
Me being a property with generally bad drainage and quite suitable, I think.