Monday, February 22, 2010


I haven't written for quite a while on this site. I have, however, fairly diligently written most days, OK, maybe half the days. I don't feel guilty about writing less than I wanted. I have a huge collection of writing over this time period and have actually written some poems that aren't that terrible (considering I haven't written any in about 20 years).

I used to write poems as a means of escapism when I was a teenager. I remember writing on in French when I was in high school. My French teacher loved it. I absolutely hated him, and hated him more for liking it, mostly because he entirely missed the point.

My sister did too. She thought it was about abortion or some sort of pregnancy situation. It wasn't. It was about encapsulation. As a programmer, I understand that to be a good thing. It's ideal to keep logic separate and all wrapped in a virtual bundle with isolated points of entry. Bits of programming logic are protected when they are encapsulated. They are also separate. That encapsulation is what I wanted and what absolutely no one understood. I suspect my husband will get it. (He's a nerd too and loves me for my programming metaphors.)

I admit that the act of writing poetry today in 2010 is completely absurd. When all kinds of unforseen hell is breaking out all over the world, when neighbors are losing their jobs, when the financial security of my family (which seemed so guaranteed just two years ago) is constantly at risk, I feel compelled to write a sonnet in perfect form. That is encapsulation - the more rigid the poetic form, the more separate, controlled, ludicrously protected I am (from every normal-ish person I know).

Also, I am inexplicably drawn to John Milton these days. I am in love with his account of Satan in Book 1 and how he captured just how angry Satan was. I am by no means an evil person, nor am I compelled to thwart God, but I do get angry. I am angry with the daily, constant lack of control I have in nearly every aspect of my life. I think that's the thing that really piqued Satan, the thing that sent him over: God wanted him to have no control. He set him aside in a horrible fiery lake. Instead of moaning and complaining, he got really angry and plotted his plan to regain control of his new horrible kingdom. It's compelling, you have to admit....

I was so in love with 'Book I' that I read it out loud to my kids. The older kids faked enjoyment for the most part and then admitted bewilderment. So I urged my husband read it on my e-Reader and watched the look on his face, hoping to see the ecstasy that I felt reading the mellifluous lines about this evil character and his minions. He liked it, but no ecstasy. I hope to win him over with 'Book II.'

If encapsulated I must be, I will wrap myself in Milton at least until the snow melts.

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