I write as an overflow of executive function data, processed limbically. My writing is deliberate and conscious. I read a great deal of poetry and everything in between. I also glean from life and university readings. I think, and I can speak only for myself, that art is a byproduct of every person, place, thing we’ve ever experienced, as well as every book, song, or piece of art that we’ve had contact with. I try to write with my own voice, even though there will always be vestiges of my influences. Form?I think we all write in some kind of form. I shape the words into something meaningful, primarily for me, and if my work touches others, either in a positive or a negative way, then I’m pleased that I’ve made an impact. I have broken out of form(s) many times. For example, when I was a young writer, I wrote in rhyme, one of the greatest forms to teach about rhythm – although a form that becomes quickly tiresome for me today - unless it's brilliantly funny - and I don't see rhyme as a " serious" type of writing. As I’ve seasoned as a writer, I write, hopefully, rhythmically, while finding my own style, and breaking out of rhyme. I am always reaching outside of my comfort zone(s) – in all things, in writing, in life, in my academic journey.
As far as “what informs my criticism of others poetry” – I look for rhythm, whether or not the poem makes logical sense – even the very obscure writers make sense, if the writer is well-honed, and knows what s/he wants to say, writing that is not clunky (although I’ve certainly written clunky poetry myself) . I don’t compare others’ poetry to my own, because mine is not a perfect product, but I know bad poetry when I see it. Immature poetry is different than bad poetry. I have been reading some of the poetry at this site, and have stumbled upon some really great poets, IMO. I’ve also stumbled upon teenagers who bleed all over their pages – which is okay, they will mature as writers the more they write.
Bob Dylan (who I adore) once wrote a book called TARANTULA – IMO, a dreadful stream of consciousness book. I try to stay away from stream of consciousness writing, although fractal poetry really speaks to me, and I’ve written one as an experiment, to, as you say, “write outside my comfort zone.”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, for sure, IMO. I think that good poetry, dark poetry, light poetry, funny poetry, ad infinitum, should have an element of universality, and that is what I look for in poetry. I will be learning how to fine-tune my work for the rest of my life. Publishing?While I’ve been published in a few journals, it’s not my primary goal. With school, I have too many other irons in the fire already. I write as catharsis. I write for my family, friends, university assignments. Poetry is fun, but other types of writing are more important to me. I enjoy poetry as a peripheral garnish to more serious, academic reading and writing.
I was pleased that Angie suggested the ekphrastic poetry. It required stretching outside my comfort zone, that I give more than I would have otherwise. I have also appreciated some of the poetry that spoke to chaos. Good stuff.