|Monument in Cordoba to Ibn Zaydûn and Princess Wallada|
I went to a poetry group, which was also refreshing, and gave some air to my poetic thoughts. It made me want to write more. Words and words and words, en boucle; it helps, as though I could put myself in a room of words and wrap myself up tightly there, and stay, and stare, but not alone. Exchange around writing is a necessity, and words engender words, in the presence of others, please. But how does that suit our idea of authorial invention and the private property of the written word? I think it's poppy-cock, and that my poetry is never mine. That's not to say though that I wouldn't want to call what I write here mine, because it is. There's a conundrum: how creativity can be so completely from somewhere else yet pass through this body, at this time.When writing, or singing, there is like a breath which comes from behind and passes through the exact center of the head, then out of the mouth, or the hand. One knows not from whence it comes. Other poets have called it inspiration, or personified it in the figure of the muse.
I wrote a poem once on being my own muse:
On being my own muse
I would no longer need the body of another to feed my words if I could write like wrapping myself in seamless white linen, having woven the fabric, etching words with thread, tying the knots that keep me in.
Ultimately, I think this poem is about a desire for self-sufficiency, not separateness. The idea is that the words keep me in, define me, and that their source is within, they don't come from the outside, the result of some exterior passion or pain. I think it's about the wish for the source of poetry to be interior joy, even though the image is quite morbid. In this poem I also see a funeral shroud. I see the death of the poet.
A medieval writer and princess from Cordoba named Wallada Bin Al Mustafki had her poems embroidered on her robes. She wore them in the street. She also had many lovers and her passions inspired her writing. This is apparently what those embroidered verses said:
For the sake of Allah! I deserve nothing less than glory
I hold my head high and go my way
I will give my cheek to my lover
and my kisses to anyone I choose.
I think she was her own muse.